Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is on board with President Donald Trump’s approach to ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons. But Trump can’t make the same mistake that President Barack Obama made with Iran.
“For a deal in North Korea to be worthwhile, there has to be real, concrete verification,” he said.
Cruz talked to reporters outside the room in the Hart Senate Office Building where the Orthodox Union was holding its annual policy summit.
Like most of the speakers at the June 13 event, Cruz compared Trump’s handling of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un favorably to the negotiations that resulted in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The Middle East was better off after Trump’s decision last month to pull out of the agreement, he said.
Cruz said he was still skeptical about Kim’s sincerity, given his and previous leaders’ false promises to dismantle the country’s nuclear weapons program.
“I am hopeful that the North Korea discussions will become a promising first step, but history has taught us that Kim is more than willing to lie, as his father was and his grandfather was before him.”
Cruz said there has been a double standard in the media for pointing out North Korea’s history of dishonesty when it comes to their nuclear program, but not in the case of the Iran deal.
“And in both cases our security objectives are the same, which is that it’s in America’s interest to have a North Korea and an Iran without nuclear weapons,” he said.
Elsewhere that day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had quoted the New Testament as a justification for the administration policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
To the OU, Sessions spoke instead about a new initiative of the Justice Department to raise awareness about legal protections for houses of worship in land-use zoning cases.
Before then, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had asked the OU to call on Sessions to reconsider his decision to bar immigrants who are victims of gang or domestic violence from seeking asylum in the United States.
“Asylum is something our people [Jews] have benefited from for generations,” Schumer said. “If there were no asylum laws, who knows where you’d be. Maybe in Eretz Yisrael, not here. You’re seeing Attorney General Sessions later, and I hope you’ll make that point.”
On June 14, OU President Moishe Bane released a statement addressing immigration generally, in which he wrote that he was “deeply concerned” about policies of the Trump administration.
“We believe that immigration, asylum and border security policies must also be fashioned and implemented in a manner that takes all steps possible to keep parents and children united,” he wrote.