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

Bernie Sanders: Trump-Kim summit a 'positive step'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday expressed cautious optimism about President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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.