Rudy Guiliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer and former mayor of New York City, said in a press conference Wednesday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “begged” Trump for the June 12 meeting after Trump abruptly canceled it.
“Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in,” Giuliani said at a business conference in Tel Aviv.
“It is pointing out that the president is the stronger figure,” he later said. “And you’re not going to have useful negotiations unless he accepts that.”
Giuliani later claimed that Trump showed his strength when he initially decided to call off the summit, citing the “tremendous anger and open hostility” in statements from North Korean officials’ descriptions of Vice President Mike Pence as a “political dummy” while again threatening “nuclear annihilation” of the United States.
“President Trump didn’t take that. What he did was he called off the summit,” he said. Giuliani then affirmed that Kim quickly changed his position, and a meeting is now scheduled next week in Singapore.
“That’s what I mean by begging for it,” he explained.
Giuliani, who is defending Trump against any possible charges to come from the ongoing Russia investigation, later said he was sharing his personal opinion, rather than one reflecting American foreign policy.
Next week’s meeting will see the two leaders meet at the luxurious Capella Hotel on the Singaporean resort island of Sentosa, where they are expected to continue negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.
However, Trump has been advised not to provide North Korea with any concessions before Kim agrees to a denuclearization timetable. He is also reportedly determined to walk out of the meeting should the talks go badly.
According to reports, security is high on the list of concerns for Kim Jong-un, who reportedly fears that travel to Singapore could leave him vulnerable to an assassination attempt.
“I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn’t have it,” Trump said of the upcoming summit. “I think we’re going to have a relationship, and it will start on June 12.”