Bernie Sanders: Trump-Kim summit a 'positive step'

Bernie Sanders: Trump-Kim summit a 'positive step'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday expressed cautious optimism about President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"While very light on substance, the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore represents a positive step in de-escalating tensions between our countries, addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and moving toward a more peaceful future," Sanders said in a statement.

"Congress has an important role to play in making sure this is a meaningful and serious process and not just a series of photo ops," he added.

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Sanders's statement offered rare, albeit light praise for Trump, who he has been a strong critic of since the 2016 campaign.

Trump and Kim met on Tuesday in Singapore for the first summit between sitting leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

After hours of discussions, Trump and Kim signed an agreement committing the United States to unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for a denuclearized Korean peninsula. The document lacked specifics on the timeline or nature of denuclearization, however.

Trump heaped praise on Kim, calling him a "very talented man" who "loves his country."

The president announced that the U.S. would call off military exercises with South Korea while negotiations continue with the North.

“I think both sides are going to be impressed with the result,” Trump told reporters. “We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”

Senators from both parties have expressed a desire for any formal agreement between the U.S. and North Korea to receive Senate approval.

Many of the president's allies have praised Trump for his performance with North Korea, but cautioned the summit represents only the beginning of difficult negotiations.

Democrats, meanwhile, have largely criticized Trump's meeting, arguing he praised the North Korean dictator and gave him legitimacy on the world stage while receiving little in return.