GOP rep: Trump needs to ‘quit complimenting Kim Jong Un’

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerGOP lawmakers say Trump wrong to criticize Biden in Japan Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds Trump taps new Air Force secretary MORE (R-Ill.) is ripping President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE’s praise of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, in which Trump announced the next phase of denuclearization talks with the reclusive leader. 

“We can quit complimenting Kim Jong Un. Let’s understand that when we have our military exercises going and we have a presence in South Korea, that’s how you force enemies to negotiate to the table. You force them to the table by having a stick option out there, and that’s what we need," Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN Wednesday morning. 

Trump and Kim first met in June at a summit in Singapore to begin negotiating North Korea’s denuclearization. The president declared the meeting a success, saying in a tweet that there was “no longer a Nuclear threat from North Korea," a position undercut by U.S. military officials.


However, while North Korea released three U.S. hostages and has not tested any missiles since the meeting, Kim has not taken any verifiable steps toward reducing or dismantling his nuclear arsenal.

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats Chuck Todd on administration vacancies: 'Is this any way to run a government?' MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel testified in a congressional hearing last week that North Korea is unlikely to completely forfeit its nuclear weapons.

Trump has appeared determined to continue negotiating with Kim and announced during his State of the Union that he would meet again with the North Korean leader at the end of the month in Vietnam.

“I’m comfortable with it right now because I think we have to see this whole process through, because the alternative is really bad. But I think after the second summit if there’s no progress, that’s the point we have to understand there just may not be progress,” Kinzinger said when asked about the summit. 

Trump, who has typically relied on staunch support from congressional Republicans, has found his foreign policy the subject of their rebukes in recent weeks, with many expressing concerns over the president’s plans to draw down troops in Syria and Afghanistan.