Will Rudy Giuliani’s “N Korea begged” remark create fresh trouble for June 12 summit?
Once bitten, twice not shy. The Donald Trump administration of the US, it seems, hasn't learnt from its past mistakes as the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has courted controversy of late through his remarks, made again a statement on North Korea that could hurt the latter's nationalist sentiments.
On Wednesday, June 6, Giuliani reportedly said at a press conference in Israel that North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un had "begged" for rescheduling the summit with Trump after the latter cancelled it on May 24 citing Pyongyang's "tremendous anger and open hostility".
Giuliani, who is defending Trump in the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election in the US, credited the president for taking a tough stance which forced North Korea to soften its stand.
North Korea adopted a calm posture and backed the summit even after Trump cancelled it and continued engagements between various parties, including South Korea, led to reinstatement of the summit. On June 1, Trump said the summit was back on track and preparations are full on since then in Singapore, the host to the talks, for June 12. The North Korean and American leaders will meet at Capella Hotel in Singapore's Sentosa Island.
The Wall Street Journal first reported about Giuliani saying: "Well, 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 does a John Bolton?
There was no immediate response from Pyongyang to Giuliani's words, reports said. In the past, North Korea was angered by the US administration's posturing that it was put under pressure to agree to the talks and in particular, US National Security Adviser John Bolton's suggestion of applying the Libya model for North Korean denuclearisation was perceived as humiliating by Pyongyang and it was one of the factors that resulted in a temporary derailment of the talks. North Korea also blasted US Vice-President Mike Pence for likening it with Libya, a day before Trump scrapped the talks in May.
Will there be fresh trouble with less than a week go for the summit?