Panetta: Trump Meeting With Kim Jong-un "Positive Step," World "Breathing Sigh Of Relief"


Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the upcoming meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un a "positive step" in an interview with Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: This is really a complete reversal on what U.S. policy has been and whether it's among Republicans or Democratic presidents, there's always been the desire to have group discussions from multiple countries with the North Koreans, not necessarily allowing one on one meetings between the president of the United States and North Korea. Would Kim Jong-un view this as a major victory, as a major boost to his legitimacy?

LEON PANETTA: Well, I don't think there's any question that Kim Jong-un has added diplomacy to his arsenal of weapons in trying to deal with the United States. And I think, at least from my sense of how he's looking at this, that he has the attitude that he's trying to figure out Donald Trump and what makes him tick. Whether or not that's true or not, who knows?

But I think for Donald Trump, who probably enjoys the attention here of this kind of meeting. I think his primary problem is sticking to talking points and really laying the kind of ground work that has to be laid for the kind of serious negotiations that are going to take place.

So, while I think, look, I think this is a positive step. I think the world is breathing a sigh of relief as a result of having these negotiations, and even having this kind of meeting. I think all of that is good news.

But, in order for the United States not to repeat the mistakes of the past in terms of how we deal with North Korea, I think a lot of preparation has to be done. A lot of issues have to be looked at, and a lot of caution has it to be exercised here it in order to make sure that what is achieved here does not fail the way past efforts have failed.

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