U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un not to “play” President Donald Trump if they meet at a proposed June 12 summit, according to excerpts from a Fox News interview.
“It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump,” Pence said amid growing concerns that the meeting could become an embarrassing failure for Trump if he does not achieve his goal of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons.
Pence added that there was “no question” that Trump was prepared to walk away from the meeting set to be held in Singapore. “I don’t think President Trump is thinking about public relations, he’s thinking about peace,” he said.
North Korea last week said it would walk away from the landmark summit if the US insisted on its complete denuclearization.
Trump, who firmly believes in his ability to strike major deals, has reportedly been asking advisors and allies whether he should still attend the summit in the wake of North Korea’s dramatic change of tone.
Trump is expected to discuss the meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In who is due to visit the White House on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Trump told reporters “everyone thinks” he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, but insisted the prize he wanted was a “victory for the world.”
The possibility of a Trump-Kim meeting was first made public in March by South Korean officials during a Washington visit. (dpa)