Back away from the microphone and let the diplomats do the talking.
That was the message Queens lawmakers and representatives of the borough’s Korean community publicly sent to President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un at a Aug. 10 press conference in Flushing denouncing the escalating rhetoric between both leaders.
Assemblyman Ron Kim and Congresswoman Grace Meng led the event outside of Flushing Town Hall in which they urged the Trump administration to use diplomatic measures rather than threatening, as Trump did on Aug. 8, to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea should the communist country — which is rapidly developing ballistic missiles that could deliver a nuclear weapon across the Pacific — launch an attack on the U.S.
The conference came just hours before Trump publicly stated on Thursday that “maybe it (his choice of words) wasn’t tough enough” to convince the North Korean regime — which, since Trump’s comments on Tuesday, has threatened to attack the American territory of Guam — to stand down.
Kim and Meng, however, believe the president has said too much — and the time had come to stop the potentially radioactive saber-rattling.
“North Korea is a rogue regime whose threats and rhetoric continue to be explosive and outrageous. President Trump’s inflammatory language only further escalates tensions on the Korean peninsula, and does nothing to stabilize the region,” Meng said. “His comments are irresponsible and potentially endangers the lives of South Korean citizens and U.S. personnel stationed in South Korea. We will always defend our country and our friend and ally South Korea should Kim Jong Un make good on his threats. Dialogue and diplomacy, not bombastic language or saber rattling, must be the way forward for achieving a peaceful resolution.”
Assemblyman Kim noted that the president’s choice of words, as with any other public official, are critical — and “can have enormous and often unforeseen consequences.” He expressed hope that a diplomatic solution could be found based on a recent meeting he had with 24 North Korean refugees at the State Capitol.
The assemblyman believes the people of North Korea desire freedom and a better life, and de-escalating the nuclear rhetoric would go a long way to helping them achieve both. Total war would the lives of millions on the Korean peninsula at risk.
“This president’s recent threats and careless rhetoric have put the lives of millions of people at risk,” Assemblyman Kim added. “Countless Korean Americans, including myself, have relatives or family members who live in the Korean peninsula, and who are now in greater danger as a result of his statements.”
Also speaking out against the bombast were Minsun Kim, president of the Korean American Association of Greater New York; Dongchan Kim, president of Korean American Civic Empowerment; and Hongsub Kim, president of Council of Korean Churches of Greater New York.
“For both Korean Americans and the citizens of South Korea, war is the last thing they want,” Hongsub Kim said. “I hope to see more peace and cooperation amongst our nations. The recent hostilities between the United States and North Korea have grown tremendously as a result of these recent antagonistic interactions.”