Thiessen: Kim May Want to Cancel Summit Because He's Been 'Cornered' by Trump
Marc Thiessen opined Wednesday on why Kim Jong Un may be on the verge of pulling out of a face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump.
North Korea threatened Tuesday to cancel the June 12 summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore. Pyongyang stated that it would not entertain a "a one-sided demand" from Trump for the country to give up its nuclear weapons.
"One possibility is that Kim wants to get out of this thing because he's been cornered by President Trump. Trump surprised everybody by accepting this summit quickly and I don't think the regime was expecting it," said Thiessen.
The announcement came hours after North Korea canceled high-level talks with South Korea over Seoul's joint military exercises with the U.S.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that the president remains "hopeful" the meeting will happen, but if it doesn't materialize, he will continue his "maximum pressure campaign."
Thiessen, a former chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush, said the North Korean regime is looking for a favorable agreement, like the one that the Obama administration and European allies cut with Iran.
"[Kim wants] lots of money and sanctions relief up front, and not a lot of inspections or anything else," Thiessen said. "Trump basically just said, 'We're not cutting deals like that anymore.'"
Thiessen added that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday extended America’s potential economic assistance to North Korea, saying if the regime takes action to quickly denuclearize, there is a future brimming with "peace and prosperity" for the country and its people on par with South Korea.
"If Kim goes to a summit and turns that down, he's responsible for the misery of the North Korean people," Thiessen said. "So he might be trying to get out of it early."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that a "maximum pressure campaign" on North Korea will continue if next month's summit does not happen.