Politics

Madeleine Albright says she's anxious about Trump-Kim summit

Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright weighs in on the planned Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit and the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement, and discusses her new book, 'Fascism: A Warning.'

Former U.S. secretary of state points to lack of U.S. diplomats with North Korean expertise

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics in Chicago Thursday night, April 19, 2018. (Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright says the lack of U.S. diplomats at the State Department who know North Korea has her worried about President Donald Trump's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"This is a very complicated issue that requires people with background and information and diplomatic skill to deal with them," Albright said in an interview with host Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network's Power & Politics Thursday.

"What I'm worried about, frankly, is that we don't have a lot of diplomats at the moment that have expertise on North Korea.

"I'm very glad that this has come to talks rather than the use of force, but I am concerned about how these talks are going to be carried out."

'Every agreement needs a little fixing, but the relationship with Canada works extremely well,' says Albright. 11:50

Albright said the Trump administration has not approached her for advice as it prepares for what will be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

In 2000, Albright became the first senior U.S. official to meet with a North Korean leader when she sat down with Kim Jong-un's father Kim Jong-il in an effort to rein in the regime's ballistic missile program. Progress made during Albright's tenure was ultimately cut short when President George W. Bush took office in 2001.

According to South Korea, North Korea has said it is open to discussing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but it remains unclear what exactly the reclusive regime wants in exchange.

Beyond international recognition and a sense of security, Albright said it's hard to know what the regime is after.

Albright joined Power & Politics to discuss her new book Fascism: A Warning, in which she tracks the 20th century rise of fascist regimes and what she sees as troubling signs the deadly ideology is re-emerging in the 21st century.

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