McConnell: US ‘Must Be Prepared’ To Reinstate ‘Maximum Pressure’ On NK

WASHINGTON D.C., Feb. 9, 2018 -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel walks out the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, on Feb. 8, 2018. The U.S. government is shutting down at midnight as the Senate went into recess and missed a midnight deadline to pass a short-term funding bill. (Xinhua/Ting Shen)
Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday congratulated President Donald Trump on the “major step” he took in meeting with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un in Singapore. But, speaking from the Senate floor, McConnell hedged any optimism about the summit.

“Resolving this 65-year-old international challenge will take a great deal of hard work,” the Senate leader said.

“I support the goals contained in the joint statement, and I remain supportive of the administration’s stated position,” he added, of “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Should North Korea “not prove willing to follow through,” he said, “we and our allies must be prepared to restore the policy of maximum pressure.”

“Today I congratulate the President on this major step, and share his hope that it will begin a process that leads to an historic peace.”

Earlier Tuesday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted an article detailing Kim’s human rights abuses, as “a reminder of who we are dealing with.”