WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s cancellation of the June 12th nuclear summit with North Korea.

“The art of diplomacy is much harder than the art of the deal.  The Trump administration should not be shocked that the Kim regime is acting as they always have.  Understanding the nature of clear-eyed diplomacy and deep preparations are paramount before agreeing to enter into such a high-wire act with no safety net.

“As I have said before, we should have never legitimized a pariah regime without first setting clear boundaries. But in hastily agreeing to a summit and then being the one to walk away, President Trump must understand he has now weakened and further isolated the United States.  Our allies and partners in the region are left questioning our reliability. Our leverage is less today than it was yesterday. 

“I have no illusions about North Korea. But mercurial diplomacy will only damage U.S. partnerships in the region and jeopardize our national security. I will continue to urge the Trump Administration to pursue a strategy that serves American interests through effective pragmatic diplomacy and averts catastrophic military confrontation.”