Durbin: ‘Seize the opportunity’ to engage North Korea in nuclear talks

Dick Durbin
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said the if North Korea is willing to talk about eliminating its nuclear weapons, the U.S. should engage in those discussions. (Photo courtesy CNN)

By Eric Stock

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he’s encouraged by reports that North Korea is willing to talk to the United States about giving up its nuclear weapons.

“Seize the opportunity, we live in a dangerous world,” Durbin said. “If we can find a way to stop the use of nuclear weapons, for goodness’ sakes we should try.”

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Durbin on WJBC.

Durbin told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin he hopes the U.S. can broker a deal similar to the one it reached with Iran, a deal President Trump has criticized but has honored.

Trump has said he sees ‘possible progress’ in North Korea talks but added it `may be false hope.”


Durbin said President Donald Trump should be more selective when slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum. Durbin said for countries like Brazil, Japan, Russia and China that have dumped steel into the U.S. to try to suffocate the U.S. steel industry, he said tariffs are fine, but he said leveling the same penalties on Canada is unfair.

“That’s the difficulty when the president makes these sweeping statements,” Durbin said. “Go after the bad guys, protect American jobs and companies, but don’t do it at the expense of our allies like Canada.”

Canada is the U.S.’s number 1 trading partner.

Gun control

Durbin said despite all the talk about gun control following the latest mass shooting in Florida, he doesn’t believe anything will change.

“I don’t think there are any indications that the president and Republican leadership are going to move forward on any meaningful gun safety legislation,” Durbin said. “The gun lobby, the National Rifle Association is too strong.”

Durbin said he was encouraged when President Trump accused his fellow Republicans of bring afraid of the NRA, but Durbin says talks about comprehensive background checks and raising the age for some firearms purchases soon subsided.

Durbin said the debate has gone much the same as the one involving children of immigrant families where he says the president has reversed course.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.