Rep. Adam Schiff advised Friday that "given North Korea's record of proliferation and cheating on prior agreements," any denuclearization plan reached with President Donald Trump "will need to be subject to rigorous verification."
"The dramatic announcement that President Trump has accepted an invitation to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to discuss denuclearization could mark the beginning of a new path forward on the Korean Peninsula," the California Democrat said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Schiff, first elected in 2000, is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
"Pyongyang will view a meeting on an equal footing with the president of the United States as an enormous victory in its own right and a validation of the power and influence that their illegal nuclear program has brought them," Schiff said.
"All Americans should hope that this time is different and that a true breakthrough is possible."
Trump agreed Thursday to meet with Kim by May, South Korean officials said, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated Friday that no talks would occur "until we see concrete actions that match the words and rhetoric" of Kim.
"Given North Korea's record of proliferation and cheating on prior agreements, any proposal will need to be subject to rigorous verification," Schiff said.
He further cautioned that "clear-eyed diplomacy and preparation will be vital, given the risks involved in such a high-stakes leaders' meeting this early in a negotiation."
Trump will need to rely on the "expertise within the State Department, the intelligence community, and throughout the government — and not simply on his own estimation of his skills as a 'deal-maker.'
"I hope that the administration will work with allies and with the North Koreans to craft an agenda that moves towards denuclearization and advances the potential for peace and an end to one of the world's most enduring and dangerous conflicts."
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