Bernie Sanders praises Trump-Kim summit as ‘positive step’

June 12, 2018 GMT

Sen. Bernard Sanders issued rare praise for President Trump Tuesday afternoon, saying the president’s reached agreement with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un signals a “positive step” in de-escalating tensions in the region.

“While very light on substance, the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore represents a positive step in de-escalating tensions between our countries, addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and moving toward a more peaceful future,” Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent, said in a statement.

“Congress has an important role to play in making sure this is a meaningful and serious process and not just a series of photo-ops,” he said.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim signed a joint agreement Tuesday after hours of closed-door discussions in Singapore, committing to establishing new U.S.-North Korean relations and building a “lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula. Mr. Kim also agreed to work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and to help in returning the remains of American POW/MIA.

Democrats criticized the meeting as appearing to legitimize Mr. Kim’s brutal regime on the world stage.

“What the United States has gained is vague and unverifiable at best,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, New York Democrat. “What North Korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting. By granting a meeting with Chairman Kim, President Trump has granted a brutal and repressive dictatorship, the international legitimacy it has long craved.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said in a statement that the agreement was made in haste, and that “President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo.”