As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shook hands in a historic summit meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, lawmakers in both parties waited back in Washington for word of any concrete agreements to rein in the nuclear weapons program of Pyongyang, as Republicans saluted Mr. Trump’s efforts, while Democrats raised questions about the need for guarantees from Kim.
“We’re going to have a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success,” the President said of his first meeting with Kim. “It will be tremendously successful. And it’s my honor. And we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,” as lawmakers watched from thousands of miles away.
“The Trump Administration has my full confidence as they move forward in these key talks,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), as he said the President deserves “an enormous amount of credit”
“Regardless of the outcome, everyone has to admit this is a positive step towards peace,” said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI).
“I’m optimistic and continue to pray for a diplomatic solution to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL).
“May peace prevail,” said Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).
As for Democrats, they pressed for Mr. Trump to emerge with a concrete agreement on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
“It’s critical that the President reach an agreement that ends with Kim Jong Un giving up his nuclear weapons,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).
“A made-for-propaganda moment for North Korea that past US Presidents refused to provide,” scoffed Brian Fallon, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton.
“Regardless of what happens in the hours ahead, the Administration must consult with Congress on North Korea,” House Democratic leaders said in a written statement issued hours before the first handshake.
But GOP lawmakers made clear there was no reason to rush to any conclusions, as they called for both sides to stand with the President.
“It may not be the first meeting,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), as Republicans echoed the President’s talk that this meeting between the two leaders is just a starting point, not something which must bring about an immediate agreement on North Korean nukes.