Trump meeting with North Korea was ‘failed summit’ that was ‘all about show’: Panetta

A former defense secretary and CIA director under President Obama said he is “very worried” about the situation with North Korea following President Trump and Kim Jong Un’s “failed summit” that was “doomed to failure.”

Leon Panetta told “This Week” Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz in an exclusive interview aired Sunday that the June summit between Trump and the North Korean leader was “all about show.”

“The problem is that in many ways it was doomed to failure from the beginning because there was never the preparatory work that has to be done prior to a summit meeting,” Panetta said about the meeting between the two leaders in Singapore. “They shook hands; they exchanged words.”

“When the balloons went away, when the confetti went away, there was nothing there to require the North Koreans to do what was necessary in order to denuclearize,” Panetta said on “This Week.”

Trump announced on Aug. 24 that a planned trip by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was cancelled because of insufficient progress toward ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the president tweeted.

Trump added that China wasn’t “helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were” due to the U.S. imposing tougher trade policies.

“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump continued, sending his “warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim.”

The president’s comments came in contrast to remarks soon after the summit, when he declared that Americans should “sleep well” because there was “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

Panetta told Raddatz, “What needs to be done now, because it wasn’t done before [the summit], is the basic diplomatic work that looks at all the issues that are involved here, puts them all on the table and begins a diplomatic process between the United States, North Korea, hopefully South Korea as part of that as well as Japan.”

“We don’t know where [North Korea’s] nuclear sites are. We don’t know where the missile sites are. We don’t know where a lot of their chemical sites are located. We have not developed any kind of inspection regime. All of that needs to be on the table,” he said. “That’s what needs to be discussed and we have yet to have a serious meeting on those issues. That’s the problem.”

Raddatz also asked Panetta about the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which is approaching its 17th year.

“I think it’s very important not to allow Afghanistan to collapse and then allow the Taliban to restore their influence,” Panetta said. “I think that what is needed here is a strategy to secure the country of Afghanistan.”

“After 17 years? I feel like I’ve heard that before,” Raddatz pressed.

Panetta conceded she was “absolutely right” that she’s heard that before.

“The problem is that the specific strategy for how we are going to deal with Afghanistan was never really laid out by any administration frankly,” he said. “We’ve got to be able to secure that country and allow it govern itself… There’s a lot of corruption. There’s a lot of tribalism in that country.”

“We have not dealt with the problems of Afghanistan that have to be resolved if we’re ever going to save Afghanistan,” Panetta added.

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