US & Canada

Giuliani: Kim Jong-un 'begged' for summit to take place

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Media captionGiuliani's controversial first month

Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said North Korea's leader "begged" for their summit to be rescheduled after the US president cancelled it.

Speaking at a conference in Israel, Mr Giuliani said Mr Trump's tough stance had forced Pyongyang's hand.

Mr Trump called off the summit in May, accusing North Korea of "tremendous anger and open hostility".

But plans for the 12 June bilateral in Singapore were revived after a conciliatory response from Pyongyang.

Mr Giuliani was speaking at an investment conference in Israel when he made the remark.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Mr Giuliani said: "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."

Mr Giuliani is an attorney for the president tackling the Russia collusion inquiry.

There was no immediate response from the North Koreans to his comments.

During a news conference on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed Mr Giuliani's remarks.

"Rudy doesn't speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues," he said.

"I took him as being in a small room and not being serious about the comments. I think it was a bit in jest. We are focused on the important things."

How this story has developed

  • 10 May: Trump says he will meet Kim in Singapore on 12 June
  • 12 May: North Korea announces dismantling of test site
  • 16 May: North threatens to scrap summit over comments by US National Security John Bolton about "Libyan model"
  • 18 May: Trump distances himself from Bolton, saying US is not pushing for Libya-style denuclearisation
  • 22 May: Trump insists that unless the US gets "certain conditions... we won't have the meeting"
  • 24 May: Trump cancels the summit, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility"
  • 1 June: Trump announced the Singapore summit is back on after talks with senior North Korean envoy General Kim Yong-chol

Mr Trump said on Tuesday that plans were "moving along very nicely".

The anticipated summit nearly was derailed in May when US National Security Adviser John Bolton compared the North Korea situation to Libya.

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Media captionThe nuclear word Trump and Kim can't agree on

Mr Bolton had said Pyongyang could follow a "Libya model" of verifiable denuclearisation, alarming Pyongyang, which watched Libya's Colonel Gaddafi give up his nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later.

North Korea's foreign ministry released an angry statement singling out Mr Bolton. Mr Trump later distanced himself from his adviser's remarks.

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