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Trump Expected to Keep Pressure on N. Korea in Divided Congress

Write: 2018-11-07 21:55:55Update: 2018-11-07 21:55:55

Trump Expected to Keep Pressure on N. Korea in Divided Congress

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: As U.S. midterm election results continue to come in, Democrats have reached the 218 seats necessary to control the House of Representatives. In the Senate, President Donald Trump’s Republicans secured the 51 seats necessary to retain their majority.
Our Kim Bum-soo has more on what that means for South Korea and the denuclearization of the North.

Report: Republicans have kept control of the Senate. Democrats won the House majority in a disappointing result for President Donald Trump.

The U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday were billed as a referendum for Trump's leadership.

With the House majority, Democrats can launch an investigation into Trump on allegations of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. They can also try to put the brakes on Trump's foreign policies with North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Some analysts are pointing out that Pyongyang is also paying close attention to the elections as Democrats have generally been critical of Trump's approach to Kim Jong-un.

Dr. Choi Kang is the Vice President of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

[Sound bite: Dr. Choi Kang - Vice President, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (English)]
"I don't think that the election outcome will greatly affect Trump's policy toward North Korea. He will keep the pressure on North Korea and also he may turn around to be much tougher on North Korea because actually nowadays Trump's policy toward North Korea is more dialogue but if the Pompeo-Kim Yong-chol meeting does not produce anything, Trump maybe will go back to the pressure mode."

This week's planned talks between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and vice chairman of the North Korean ruling Workers' Party Central Committee Kim Yong-chol were postponed amid concerns that the nuclear negotiations are not proceeding smoothly.

Pusan National University Professor Robert Kelly says Trump may not even be able to focus so much on North Korea.

[Sound bite: Prof. Robert Kelly - Pusan National University Professor (English)]
"I think the real issue is... you've heard a lot about Trump's tax returns and his finances and things like that. If all that really starts and there's a really big investigation of the president and a lot of corruption found and things like that, I have a feeling that North Korea and Korea more generally will fall off the Trump agenda because the president will spend an enormous amount of time defending himself."

The Democrats also took back control of the House Intelligence Committee from the Republican Party. The committee plays a significant role in the on-going investigation of the Russian meddling.

American lawmakers, however, cannot remove Trump from office unless the Republican-controlled Senate agrees with the move.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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