US politicians not yet toasting Trump-Kim summit


WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican and Democratic leaders aren’t quite celebrating President Donald Trump’s historic meeting Tuesday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying the initial agreement they struck won’t mean much until the North completely denuclearizes.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called the meeting a “major first step,” in U.S.-North Korea relations, but not a decisive one if North Korea does not follow through.

“The next steps in negotiations will test whether we can get to a verifiable deal,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. He added, “We and our allies must be prepared to restore the policy of maximum pressure.”

That was echoed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said, “Only time will tell if North Korea is serious this time, and in the meantime we must continue to apply maximum economic pressure.”

Democrats were openly skeptical, saying Trump had already given up some American leverage by committing to halting U.S. military exercises with treaty ally South Korea.

“President Trump has granted a brutal and repressive dictatorship the international legitimacy it has long craved,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. He pointed out that the Trump-Kim agreement does not define what denuclearization would mean. If nothing else happens, Schumer said the meeting amounts to “purely a reality show summit.”

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