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WASHINGTON — A group of House Republicans is seeking the Nobel Peace Prize for President Donald Trump because of his work to ease nuclear tensions with North Korea.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are working out the details of a historic summit that could take place by the end of May or early June. Yet an agreement by which the North would give up its nuclear weapons and allow for the world to confirm it still seems far off.
The United States has reached aid-for-disarmament deals with North Korea before, but they've ultimately failed.
Recent comments from the leaders of the two Koreas have raised hopes. Trump's supporters on Capitol Hill are pushing the idea that he deserves a Nobel, and Trump clearly enjoyed it Saturday when supporters at a Michigan rally began chanting "Nobel" as he talked about North Korea.
Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., made the suggestion in a letter Wednesday sent to members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. It was signed by 18 Republicans.
The letter said that North Korea has long ignored international demands to cease its aggressions but that Trump's "peace through strength policies are working" and bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.
It said the Trump administration united China and others in imposing strict sanctions.
"The sanctions have decimated the North Korean economy and have been largely credited for bringing North Korea to the negotiating table," the nomination letter stated.
Messer is running for the Senate in Indiana, where support for Trump has become a litmus test for Republican voters. The lawmakers who signed the letter are among the most conservative in the House. The group includes several other lawmakers who are also running for governor or senator in Republican-leaning or strongly GOP states.
Among them: Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running for a Senate seat in Tennessee; Rep. Kevin Cramer, who is running for the Senate in North Dakota; Rep. Evan Jenkins, who is running for the Senate in West Virginia; and Jim Renacci, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio. Rep. Diane Black, another signatory to the letter, is running for governor in Tennessee.