Skip to content

Congress Warns North Korea — and Trump — on Nuke Talks

Messer says Trump deserves a Nobel Prize

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said President Donald Trump's position on North Korea gave an opportunity for diplomacy with North Korea. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said President Donald Trump's position on North Korea gave an opportunity for diplomacy with North Korea. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress were cautious in response to the news that President Donald Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a hawkish Republican who went from being a major Trump critic to ally, said Trump’s “strong stand” against the regime gives the United States the best opportunity for peace.

“A word of warning to North Korean President Kim Jong Un — the worst possible thing you can do is meet with President Trump in person and try to play him,” Graham said in a statement. “If you do that, it will be the end of you — and your regime.”

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, one of the Republicans running to challenge Sen. Joe Donnelly, wrote in a statement that if there is a breakthrough, Trump would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

From the Vault: Trump’s Warning to North Korea

Loading the player...

“If this happens, it would be a direct result of President Trump’s strong leadership and decisive action toward the brutal North Korean tyrant,” he said, contrasting that with Trump’s predecessor.

“President Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for being a charming presidential candidate,” Messer said in a statement. “If North Korea disarms, President Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize would be well deserved.”

But other Republicans expressed more caution and urged Trump to have certain terms and conditions.

“The price of admission for a meeting between and Kim Jong Un must be the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” said Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, who earlier sent a letter with Gardner to continue pressure on North Korea, said  he would “welcome any conversations that could lead to denuclearization.”

“I’m also acutely aware that North Korea has deceived the international community in the past,” he tweeted.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who clashed with Trump in the past, credited sanctions put in place by Congress with bringing North Korea to the table.

The committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Robert Menendez, said the goal of any meeting should be denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said the president should temper his trademark bellicose style.

“The President must abandon his penchant for unscripted remarks and bombastic rhetoric to avoid derailing this significant opportunity for progress,” he said.

But Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Washington, was more cynical, reacting to former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau’s assertion that Trump hasn’t made any deals as president.

Recent Stories

Lee, Fitzpatrick win primaries as fall matchups set in PA

Aid finally set to flow as Senate clears $95.3B emergency bill

Flag fracas: Republicans ‘infuriated’ by show of support for Ukraine  

Justice Department settles claims on USA Gymnastics investigation

Senate looks to clear aid bill Tuesday night with no amendments

‘Cruelty and chaos’: Biden hits Trump in Florida over abortion bans