Fred in the News
WWMT Newschannel 3: Rep. Upton "optimistic" for peace, disarmament on the Korean Peninsula
Rep. Upton "optimistic" for peace, disarmament on the Korean peninsula
By Jacob Berent/Newschannel 3
April 29, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Congressman Fred Upton (R – St. Joseph) has an outlook on North Korea similar to that of his baseball fandom.
"I'm a Cubs fan, so I'm an optimist," Upton said.
If the Chicago Cubs can win a world series, then congressman Upton says peace is not impossible on the Korean Peninsula.
"What we've seen in the last 24 to 48 hours has been a very positive sign that maybe leads up to a goal we all want, which is a nuclear free North and South Korea," Upton said.
Great progress has been made over the last two weeks in North Korea, as Kim Jong Un has talked with other world leaders about peace between the both North and South Korea with de-nuclearization. Kim Jong Un met with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in and pledged to stop all nuclear missile testing.
Michigan's Upton has served as a foreign diplomat to Korea in the past. Upton was a part of the Six-Party talks in Beijing that began in 2003 and lasted until 2009.
"We tried to start up the Six Party Talks, China, Russia, North and South Korea, Japan and us. So, it was a diplomatic mission, trying to get those talks started, it didn't happen, I thought we were close," Upton said.
There was a point during the five-session talks where North Korea agreed to shut down its nuclear facilities, but ultimately talks broke down. Having seen disarmament talks break down before, Upton wants to make sure Kim Jong Un sticks to his word.
"I think there is room for an agreement to be made, obviously want to make sure it is sincere, it can be verified," Upton said.
Upton believes President Donald Trump can help strike a deal, and it needs to happen since North Korea has shown their missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
"Knowing that North Koreans have made that investment where they can target or hit the U.S., it's got to change," Upton said. "We have to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. If we can get an agreement so they stop developing this and we take nuclear weapons out of North and South, I think that's a good thing," Upton said.