WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“The United States should pursue any diplomatic opportunity that could reduce the chance of war on the Korean Peninsula. I am grateful to President Moon and our allies in Seoul for opening the lines of communication with the North.

“After hearing from Deputy Secretary Sullivan today, I hope there may be a path forward diplomatically. It’s a high-risk gamble, but I would like to see nothing more than a positive outcome from a face-to-face meeting. Still, the President should be clear-eyed about Pyongyang’s intentions and avoid snap decisions that appear out of step with his top diplomats. Past experience demonstrates that negotiations with the North require deft and cunning. America’s diplomatic corps will need to lay the groundwork and must be consulted every step of the way. Unfortunately, the skilled and senior diplomats needed for these sensitive talks are precisely the seasoned experts that the State Department has been hemorrhaging for the last year.

“We must leverage any opportunity to open dialogue with the North. But we must guard against giving North Korea the legitimacy they have long sought without obtaining meaningful concessions from the DPRK and advancing our national security interests.”

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