The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee praised the Trump administration for new sanctions imposed against North Korea by the United Nations.
"That was a good move. That was a major accomplishment. I give our team a lot of credit for getting that done. They're pretty strong additional sanctions to be imposed against North Korea because of their continued testing of ballistic missiles," Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on “Fox News Sunday.”
He added it was “great” to see China and Russia join with the U.S. in voting for the sanctions.
"It now needs to be followed up with diplomacy where we get China and the United States working with the same strategy with North Korea to find a way that we can ease the tensions and get North Korea to change directions. So it's a good first step," Cardin said.
On Friday, all 15 members of the U.N. Security Council voted to impose tough new sanctions on Pyonyang in response to the regime’s latest launch of a ballistic missile.
According to the reports, the new sanctions “include sharply cutting limits on North Korea's imports of refined oil, forcing all North Koreans working overseas to return home within 24 months, and cracking down on shipping to and from the country.”
President Trump praised the new sanctions in a Friday tweet, and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the sanctions send "the unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation."
Cardin did however criticize President Trump’s threat to cut funding from nations that voted against the U.S. in response to the administration’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The manner in which he handled it, without using diplomacy, without trying to advance the peace process […] that I think was the mistake,” Cardin said, calling the U.N.’s reaction “expected.”
He added: “I don’t think it’s useful to make threats. We do watch how the countries in the United Nations vote in our resolutions, but I think the manner in which the president handled this is not in our best national security interest.”