Former Secretary of State John Kerry is urging President Trump to scale back his rhetoric against North Korea, claiming he’s only making matters worse.
“The president needs to make sure he’s not feeding into North Korea’s fear of regime change or of a unilateral attack or otherwise,” Kerry warned the president during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
The rhetoric has “stepped over the line,” he added. “It’s given North Korea a reason to say, ‘Hey, we need a bomb.’”
Amanpour wondered how much clout Kerry's words held, considering the Obama administration has its own fair share of critics who say their era of “strategic patience” did little to curb the North Korean threat.
“With all due respect that’s not accurate,” Kerry returned.
The Obama administration engaged in “lots of efforts” and got China to engage as well, Kerry argued, reminding Amanpour how China increased its sanctions against North Korea twice.
In the interview, Kerry also defended the Iranian nuclear deal, claiming "it's working" and has made the region and the world "safer." He is baffled why Trump would move to decertify it considering it gives them the ability "to know what Iran is doing."
Having tougher sanctions on Iran than North Korea just “doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Don’t “tweet yourself” into a position of unintended consequences that could lead to war, Kerry said.
The former secretary of state hopes Trump’s trip through Asia will result in some effective negotiations.