President Donald Trump should stop praising North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN’s New Day on Wednesday following the State of the Union address.
“We can quit complimenting Kim Jong Un,” said Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Let’s understand that when we have our military exercises going and we have a presence in South Korea, that’s how you force enemies to negotiate to the table. You force them to the table by having a stick option out there, and that’s what we need.”
Following a U.S.-North Korea summit in June, Trump declared that there was “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea," a position not backed by American military officials, according to The Hill.
Since that summit, Kim has not taken any verifiable steps toward reducing or dismantling his nuclear arsenal. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel testified in a congressional hearing last week that Pyongyang is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons.
Kinzinger said he is comfortable with Trump meeting again with Kim, as the president announced he would in his address.
“I’m comfortable with it right now because I think we have to see this whole process through, because the alternative is really bad," the Illinois congressman said. “But I think after the second summit if there’s no progress, that’s the point we have to understand there just may not be progress.”
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