Rep. Pete King Thursday called on Republicans and Democrats alike to put on a unified front as talks continue between the United States and North Korea about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
"I have great faith in [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo," the New York Republican told Fox News' "Outnumbered Overtime" host Harris Faulkner.
"I worked with Mike on the Intelligence Committee. He was an outstanding head of the CIA and he is a tough negotiator."
However, he said that he does not feel that cohesion is happening between the parties when it comes to supporting the upcoming talks.
"Last week, it appeared the summit was being called off, and they came in quick to criticize the president," King said. "Listen, I stood by President [Barack] Obama as much as I could on foreign policy."
He said he thinks it's okay to criticize after a deal is done, but while negotiations are still at a sensitive place, "let's see what happens and see what happens on June 12. Hold your fire until then."
There will be enough to criticize after, said King, but "let it go between now and then so Kim Jong Un knows that the American people and the Congress and the Senate are standing behind the president and demanding denuclearization."
Meanwhile, he said he thinks North Korea is "getting the message that President Donald Trump is for real, and he is not looking for an easy deal."
"What will happen as it plays out we don't know, but is a good start today," King said of Pompeo's meetings with North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol.
"I think Mike Pompeo is getting the message across that the U.S. Is serious, and that they have — that North Korea has to be serious about denuclearization. If they follow through on that, that is a whole different story because in some ways the only reason North Korea exists is because of the nuclear weapons. So, this is going to be a tough process."
The United States, though, still has several pieces of leverage.
"I still believe that we can use China," said King. "The fact that the president reinstated the tariffs in China, that is putting pressure on China to put pressure on North Korea. North Korea realizes that President Trump is serious, and he is not going to back down on the issue of denuclearization. For the first time they see they have an adversary that is willing to follow through if he has to."
King said he does agree with reports that it will take more than one meeting between the leaders to hammer out an agreement.
"One way or another this has been going on now for 65 years, ever since the armistice in 1953," said King. "I don't expect it to be resolved in one meeting, but I do believe the meeting can certainly set a tone to make it clear to him how serious Trump is."
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