The upcoming talks with North Korea underscore the importance of having someone like CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of State, as he can "hit the ground sprinting," Rep. Michael Gallagher, R-Wis., said Thursday, adding the United States cannot ease up on the Asian country.
"There is no question that he is qualified," Gallagher, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "He has had a long and distinguished career in national security . . . he by all accounts performed very well at the CIA."
However, Gallagher admitted he is skeptical North Korea is serious about denuclearization, but he is willing to let the Trump administration try diplomacy.
"We can't ease up on the maximum pressure campaign," he told show co-host Bill Hemmer, "If not even increase the pressure and on the Chinese at the same time."
Pompeo has already had a top-secret meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un to discuss denuclearization of the rogue state, President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday.
When it comes to Kim, "you have to make it clear to him there is one thing he likes more than his nuclear program and that is regime survival," Gallagher said. "That's why it's so important that we keep the pressure up not just economically or diplomatically but militarily."
Congress made an investment in rebuilding the military, he continued, but it needs to continue.
"We have to use all instruments of national power to make it clear to Kim Jong Un, if he continues to threaten our own homeland and global stability, we will take whatever steps are necessary to prevent him from doing that and he will not survive that clash," Gallagher said.
Gallagher said he is concerned, though, Democrats will continue to vote down President Donald Trump's nominees, including Pompeo, and if they keep going down that path, "it does damage to a tradition of supporting presidential nominees. Even if you disagree with certain policies, and it also undermines our diplomacy at this critical stage."
Meanwhile, Gallagher said he believes both Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are "clear-eyed," and will be that way when dealing with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"That's the lesson of the Iran negotiations," Gallagher said. "The Obama administration was unwilling to walk away from Iran and agreed to a deal [against] the best interest of the United States. We can't go down that path right now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.