Former Obama official: 'No substance' to Trump's diplomatic efforts in North Korea

A former Obama official criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnHuman rights: Help or hindrance to toppling dictators? North Korea says US offered to resume nuclear talks in December North Korea issues warning over US-South Korea drills MORE, saying it had “no substance.”

“Where is the progress other than the photo ops in North Korea?” asked Roger Fisk, who served on President Obama's 2013 inaugural committee.

“There’s no substance there,” he added. “Every other president ... had preconditions before they would even sit down with Kim Jong Un or his father or his father’s father.”

President Trump on Sunday became the first sitting U.S. president to step over the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into North Korea to meet with Kim for a surprise negotiation session, where the two leaders agreed to restart stalled nuclear talks.

But Fisk argued that when Trump stepped over the DMZ line, he “hemorrhaged massive amounts of American credibility.”

“Not having any real understanding about our history there and capping off a 100-hour global tour in which he was hostile to our allies,” he added in reference to G-20 meeting last weekend in Osaka, Japan. “He cosied up with every single thug or dictator in the world.”

Trump has received a mix of praise and criticism following his trip to Asia.

While many fellow Republicans including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) hailed the visit as a breakthrough in talks, some Democratic presidential candidates and human rights advocates panned the visit in light of the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea before his death.

“Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Following school shooting, Biden speaks out: 'We have to protect these kids' MORE (D-Mass.), tweeted following the meeting. “Instead, we should be dealing with North Korea through principled diplomacy that promotes US security, defends our allies, and upholds human rights.

Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE (I-Vt.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean Klobuchar 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Hillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal MORE (D-Minn.) also criticized the meeting, along with former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

—Tess Bonn