Boehner hopes Trump-Kim summit leads to 'non-nuclear North Korea'

Posted: 6:17 PM, Jun 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-11 22:42:29Z

WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- According to John Boehner, only President Donald Trump could get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table.

"Most presidents would follow diplomatic protocols, and we'd never get there," Boehner said. "But Donald Trump's different. He's the most unusual president we've ever had — and how we got him to the table, I don't know, but he got him."

Boehner sat down for an interview with WCPO while attending a golf outing fundraiser at Wethernington County Club for the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester Monday. During the outing, the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore was not far from his mind.

"The fact is, President (Trump) has been on this like white on rice for 15 months, has not stopped," Boehner said. "This is a problem that has been going on for 30 years. It has to be dealt with."

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However, Boehner doesn't have great expectations for the summit. 

"This is a get-to-know-you, 'here's where we'd like to go,' get their ideas on where they'd like to go," Boehner said. "But I look at this meeting as the start of a process that hopefully will take us to a non-nuclear North Korea."

The challenge, according to Boehner, is that North Korea doesn't really have an economy, leading to actions that some would consider desperate.

"The biggest concern with North Korea is their willingness to sell nuclear material to what I would describe as 'non-state actors' — terrorists around the world," he said. "They're so starved for cash that they would do this."

Boehner also expects the leaders will discuss Wyoming, Ohio, native Otto Warmbier, who died after he was released from captivity in North Korea.

"Clearly, that shadow is going to be there," Boehner said. "I think the presaident was personally very troubled by what happened, so I'm sure it's going to continue to be on the president's mind."