GOP strategist says Trump, Kim negotiations are preliminary

Republican strategist Gustavo Portela told Hill.TV on Wednesday that denuclearization negotiations between President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un are preliminary amid reports of activity at North Korean nuclear sites. 

"I wouldn't call it a failed effort when you're getting a madman with a potential of having nukes coming to the table, and potentially negotiating a deal to not have any nukes," Portela, executive director of Accuracy in Media, told hosts Buck Sexton and Juanita Tolliver on "Rising." 

"I think at the end of the day, it's really tough for anybody to really come after the Trump administration in ... negotiations that, in my opinion, are still premature," he continued. 

"They've only met a handful of times, and I think there's still a lot to work out, and I'm still hopeful that something positive will come from this," he said.  

The two leaders failed to reach an agreement at their second summit last week. 

“It was about the sanctions,” Trump told reporters last week. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”

The president added that the summit was "very productive."

South Korean officials on Tuesday reportedly saw new indications of activity at North Korean nuclear sites that Pyongyang had pledged to dismantle.

— Julia Manchester