Tim Ryan Compares Trump's North Korea Trip to 'Chamberlain Going to Talk to Hitler,' As Ted Lieu Says President's Visit Is 'Fine'

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio), who announced his 2020 presidential bid in April, on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump's recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by comparing it to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's meeting with German dictator Adolf Hitler.

Trump stepped into North Korean territory after shaking hands with Kim Jong Un on Sunday, making history as the first U.S. president to enter the hermit nation. The unprecedented event at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the North and South came one day after Trump tweeted at Kim to suggest they share an impromptu handshake at the border.

During a segment on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, Ryan criticized Trump's entry into North Korea, a country known for its nuclear ambitions and human rights abuses, and his meeting with Kim.

"They talk about historic moments. This is historic, him going to North Korea is like Chamberlain going to talk to Hitler," Ryan said of the meeting. "I mean, [Kim] was lobbing missiles into the Sea of Japan just a few weeks ago and the president is going to talk to him? I mean, are you kidding me?"

After they shook hands, Trump asked Kim: "Would you like me to step across? I am okay with it." Following the president's roughly one-minute visit into North Korea, the two leaders chatted inside the Freedom House at the DMZ for nearly an hour. Trump later said that Kim had agreed to recommence diplomatic talks which collapsed during their last summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in February.

Trump and Kim first met face-to-face at the 2018 North Korea-United States Singapore Summit last June. This was the first time in history where leaders of the United States met with leaders of North Korea. Following their meetings, Trump has repeatedly touted the allegedly great relationship he shares with Kim.

Chamberlain, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1937 to 1940, met with Hitler multiple times in Germany before World War II began. Although his efforts may have delayed the war, he was unable to stop Hitler from committing mass human rights atrocities.

Several other 2020 Democratic candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have also condemned the meeting between Trump and Kim. However, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Cali.), a frequent Trump critic, took a different stance, saying the president's visit into North Korea was "fine" but pointed out that nothing has come from his diplomatic efforts.

"We should support diplomacy. I think it's fine for @POTUS to step into North Korea. But we also need to deal with facts," the congressman tweeted. "Under @realDonaldTrump, N Korea has NOT: -Eliminated any nuclear weapons -Eliminated any missiles. N Korea HAS: -Increased nuclear fuel -Hidden missile bases."

Trump North Korea
A handout photo provided by Dong-A Ilbo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the South and North Korea on June 30, 2019 in Panmunjom, South Korea. Dong-A Ilbo/Getty