Former UN ambassador: North Korea situation 'best I've seen in a long time'

Former UN ambassador: North Korea situation 'best I've seen in a long time'
© Getty Images

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said relations with North Korea are as good as he's seen in "a long time" in a new interview airing Sunday.

In an interview with John Catsimatidis on AM 970 "The Answer," the former Democratic governor of New Mexico said despite skepticism about President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE's plan to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, he is optimistic about the two countries' future relations.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is the best I’ve seen in a long time," Richardson said. The former ambassador pointed to this week's summit between Kim and South Korea's Moon Jae-in, which led to a move to end the decades-old Korean War, as evidence.

"But I think for President Trump and Kim Jong Un ... this North Korea-South Korea meeting sets a very good tone," Richardson said. "The 25 million people who live in Seoul," he added, "are breathing a little bit easier these days."

Richardson warned against giving Trump all the credit for pushing the two countries together for a meeting. China, he argued, was more likely the driving factor between Kim's decision to pursue closer dialogue with South Korea.

"On North Korea [the Chinese] have helped us. They don’t want North Korea out scaring the whole region, especially Japan and South Korea, bringing those countries into the nuclear weapon field," Richardson says.

"They don’t want that. I think their sanctions on North Korea are tougher than they have ever been. And they’re working. I think that’s one of the reasons Kim Jong Un came to the negotiating table.”

Trump this week tweeted his congratulations to the two nations for seeking a peace treaty, but tweeted that "time will tell" if closer U.S.-North Korea relations will follow.

"KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!" Trump tweeted Friday.

"After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!" he added.