World

Leaders from Trump's Republican Party sceptical about summit outcome

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump may believe his meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday was "a very great moment in the history of the world," but leaders from his own Republican Party were much more sceptical.

They widely praised Mr Trump for taking the bold step of sitting down to talk with Mr Kim, but voiced concern about the vagueness of the agreement that resulted and the president's lavish praise for Mr Kim.

In much more measured tones than the president's ebullience about the meeting, Republican lawmakers urged Mr Trump to be vigilant in moving forward.

"It's important that we don't lose sight of the fact that Kim Jong Un is a butcher and he's a butcher of his own people,"Republican Senator John Kennedy told reporters.

"Trying to reason with someone like that is like trying to hand-feed a shark. It doesn't mean that you can't do it, but you've got to do it very, very carefully," he said.

For Mr Trump, with congressional elections approaching in November and Republican majority control of both chambers of the US Congress at stake, the fast-evolving relationship with Mr Kim presents both political opportunity and peril.

While it was difficult to tell immediately whether Mr Trump's performance in Singapore would influence congressional campaigns, it was clear that Republicans were not fully embracing Mr Trump's enthusiasm for Mr Kim.

"It is just hard to determine what of concrete nature has occurred," Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters.

Senator Marco Rubio, who contested unsuccessfully against Mr Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, found fault with the president's praise of Mr Kim, a dynastic dictator in a repressive regime.

Mr Trump, in an interview with the Voice of America, called Mr Kim a "funny guy" who "loves his people".

Mr Rubio said on Twitter that Mr Kim "is NOT a talented guy. He inherited the family business from his dad & grandfather. He is a total weirdo who would not be elected assistant dog catcher in any democracy".- REUTERS

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