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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Senate candidates Joe Donnelly and Mike Braun agree the warmup in relations with North Korea is an improvement, but they take slightly different views of where to go from here.

Both candidates caution Kim Jong Un may not keep his promises to denuclearize. But Braun says even if he doesn’t, the U-S is no worse off than before. He credits President Trump with breaking a decades-long stalemate to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

Donnelly emphasizes the U.S. has to remain clear-eyed about who it’s dealing with. He warns Kim remains a vicious dictator top and only goal is his own survival, and says the advances in Pyongyang’s nuclear program make North Korea even more dangerous than two years ago. The Democratic senator says the U-S can’t let its guard down, but be ready for a range of responses, military and otherwise. And he says it’s critical to have real-time intelligence on North Korean military movements and intentions. 

Donnelly shrugs off the intermittent Twitter lovefest between Trump and Kim, saying military commanders will keep their focus on preparedness. Braun credits Trump’s tough talk with North Korea before the current thaw with sending a message not just to Kim, but other hostile regimes around the globe not to push their luck. He says countries like Syria which saw President Obama draw and erase “red lines” now have to be more concerned about a strong American response.

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