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

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerGOP rep deployed to southern border with Air National Guard unit GOP rep: Trump needs to ‘quit complimenting Kim Jong Un’ GOP compares Ocasio-Cortez to Trump MORE (R-Ill.) is ripping President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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 CoatsEx-Trump official says intel community's testimony interfered in US-North Korea talks Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump 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.