Local Retired General On Trump/Kim Summit: “A Good First Step”


Lynn Hartsell of Lincoln County is a retired two-star general with the United States Army who spent two tours in South Korea. Tuesday afternoon, KELOLAND News asked him about the Trump-Kim summit, and his thoughts on what comes next.

“I think it is a good first step,” Hartsell said. “Now only time is going to be able to assess the success of this agreement. But it’s historic in the sense that it’s the first time I think that we’ve ever gotten this close to any kind of an agreement of this magnitude.”

Hartsell also offers an explanation as to why the summit happened.

“And I think the only reason that it occurred was because the United States under Trump used what I would call big-stick diplomacy,” Hartsell said.

Basically negotiations were happening with a military option on the table. KELOLAND News asked Hartsell if he believes North Korea will denuclearize.

“Again only time will tell. Here’s the key,” Hartsell said. “You have to have complete and total verification that they are denuclearizing their program and their capability.”

Verification done by American personnel in North Korea, Hartsell says. As far as what’s next, he says more meetings are on the horizon.

“I don’t think it will take very long to find out if everybody’s on the same sheet of music,” Hartsell said.

KELOLAND News asked Hartsell if he’s ever been to North Korea. He said no, but he did get close. He had his foot, he said, “within an inch of the line.” 

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