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

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSenate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Trump, Europe increasingly at odds on Iran The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis' MORE (I-Maine) on Thursday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 PompeoOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Trump defense chief: US may send more troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions Pompeo slams 'unconscionable' release of 'American Taliban' 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.”