Political News

GOP Sen. Johnson: Trump must keep pressure on NK ahead of talks

Posted March 11, 2018 8:48 a.m. EDT

— Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said Sunday that President Donald Trump must continue to ratchet up pressure on North Korea to denuclearize, even as the two countries prepare to meet for talks.

"We can't do what we did with Iran and let off the pressure and then just watch the behavior go in the wrong direction," the Wisconsin Republican, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"I would say ratchet up the sanctions against North Korea until they actually do, in a verifiable fashion, denuclearize," he continued.

Johnson's comments follow Trump's decision last week to agree to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Johnson said Trump "has been engaged in the maximum pressure campaign," which he believes "is having its effect." But the senator also said that he hopes that by agreeing to the meeting, the President isn't being naive.

"Let's not be snookered again. Let's not be Charlie Brown to North Korea's Lucy," Johnson said.

"I think talking to people is never a bad idea as long as we maintain that pressure," he continued. "I've never quite understood the enormous diplomatic gain by just sitting down and talking to somebody as long as you maintain the pressure, so I'd rather talk to people to prevent any kind of miscalculation."