During a conference in Israel, Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said the June meeting was reinstated after a grovelling plea from Kim Jong-un.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on June 7, 2018

Speaking in Israel at an investment conference organised by newspaper Globes, Giuliani boasted of the circumstances in which the North Korean leader lobbied for the meeting (scheduled for 12 June 2018) to go ahead after all.

“Well, Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it,” Giuliani said. “Which is exactly the position you want to put him in.”

Giuliani later commented on North Korea’s behaviour before Trump cancelled the summit. “They also said they were going to go to nuclear war with us, they were going to defeat us in a nuclear war. We said we’re not going to have a summit under those circumstances.”

Giuliani is part of Trump’s legal team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. These comments are not the first time Giuliani has been outspoken on world issues. The US State Department has previously had to clarify that he does not speak on behalf of the Trump administration.

Trump had previously cancelled plans for a bilateral discussion between the two nations. On 24 May 2018 Trump released an open letter to Kim Jong-un.

“I was very much looking forward to being there with you,” the letter read.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”

North Korean diplomat Kim Kye-gwan released a response the following day, saying: “We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the US and resolve issues anytime and in any format.”

Trump has previously tweeted the meeting would be a “very special moment for world Peace!”

The rocky road to historic US North Korea talks

On 1 June 2018 the White House welcomed one of Kim Jong-un’s top aides, Kim Yong-chol, who delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to the US President. Trump described the comically oversized letter as “very interesting” and “very nice”.

The same day, Trump told reporters the meeting was back on. “I think it’s probably going to be a very successful, ultimately a successful process,” he said.

If the meeting does go ahead, it will mark the first time a sitting US President has met with the leader of North Korea. It will take place in Singapore, a country which has had diplomatic relations with North Korea since 1975 as well as being a trusted US ally.Plans for the historic summit were first confirmed by the White House on 8 March 2018, but the path to the talks has been a bumpy one.