Sen. King: Trump ‘deserves substantial credit’ for moving toward North Korea summit

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey MORE (I-Maine) on Thursday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE deserves "substantial credit" for facilitating a summit between the United States and North Korea.

“I think it is a positive development. The fact that we’re moving toward a summit with North Korea is also good news. And I think the president deserves substantial credit for that,” King told CNN’s “New Day.” 

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But the senator cautioned that North Korea has yet to give up its nuclear weapons.

“It’s not time yet to pop the cork on this. On the other hand, I’m delighted that we’re going to be entering into these negotiations and maybe this time it will work,” he said.

The remarks come after Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Kim Kardashian West thanks Trump, Kushner for helping efforts to free A$AP Rocky from Swedish jail Trump directed officials to work to free rapper A$AP Rocky after arrest in Sweden: reports MORE returned from North Korea early Thursday with three Americans who had been held captive by Pyongyang.

"The fact we were able to get them out so soon was a tribute to a lot of things," Trump said when he greeted the former hostages at Andrews Air Force Base. "I just want to say, this is a special night."

The release, a significant diplomatic achievement for the Trump administration, comes ahead of the upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

“I’m the first to say this is positive, the gesture of sending these people home is positive. I think it opens the door to further discussions,” King said of the prisoners’ release. 

“And if we can pull it off, if this president can pull it off, listen, I’ll be the first person to say congratulations," he said. "But just a word of caution, we’re not there yet.”