• Politics

Top George W. Bush Asia Adviser Says Donald Trump’s North Korea Gambit Is a Bad Idea

2 minute read

Michael Green, who was a top adviser on Asia to former President George W. Bush, said Wednesday that Donald Trump’s plan to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is a “very bad idea.”

Green’s comments, published in a Foreign Policy column Wednesday, come after Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that he is willing to talk to the North Korean leader to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

“I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him,” Trump said during the interview, though he declined to share more specific details about his plans to deal with the country.

“There is certainly room for more proactive strategic thinking as North Korea rushes towards further nuclear weapons capability, but a presidential summit belongs in the ‘(very) bad idea’ category,” Green wrote, arguing that Kim won’t abandon nuclear weapons and would maximize the opportunity for regime propaganda. “This is not like holding the Miss Universe contest in Moscow,” said Green, who was a special assistant to Bush and served as the senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Green argued that a meeting between a President Trump and Kim would cause U.S. allies to lose confidence and would cause suffering North Koreans to lose hope, while legitimizing the country’s nuclear status.

“Pyongyang has declared that it would be prepared to enter into arms control negotiations with the United States as a fellow nuclear weapons state,” Green wrote. “The United States would have to acknowledge Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons status, cease sanctions, end the nuclear umbrella over Japan and South Korea, end criticism of the North’s human rights abuses, and have the president personally guarantee these commitments in an agreement with the North Korean leader.”


More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com