President Donald Trump on Friday said his administration is "not going to be played" by North Korea like has occurred during past administrations, referencing previous times the regime has reneged on promises not to develop or acquire nuclear weapons.
Trump sat down with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval office and took questions from reporters about about Iran and North Korea.
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"Any agreement on Iran today, Mr. President?" a reporter asked.
"I don't know. I think we'll be talking about Iran probably, but I don't necessarily expect it one way or another," Trump said. "I know we're going to have a very good discussion on Iran as I did with Emanuel [Macron], who just left, the president of France, so we'll be having discussions on Iran."
Another reporter asked Trump if he believed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was trying to play the United States, prompting Trump to say he didn't believe Kim was playing.
"It's never gone this far. I don't think it's ever had this enthusiasm for them wanting to make a deal and yeah I agree the United States has been played beautifully like a fiddle because you had a different kind of a leader," Trump said. "We're not going to be played. We're going to hopefully make a deal. If we don't, that's fine. The United States in the past was played like a fiddle, money going in and nobody knew what was happening. The day after an arrangement was made … they start with the nuclear weapons again. That's not happening to us."
The North Korean regime has threatened to withdraw and failed to comply with agreements, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), at multiple points in history. Most recently, North Korea annoucened it had withdrawn from the NPT in January 2003 and once again began operating its nuclear facilities. The announcement led to the six-party talks–beginning in August of 2003–with China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Those talks ultimately broke down in 2009.
Trump went on to say he thinks he will come up with a solution during negotiations with North Korea, but added, "If we don't, we leave the room with great respect. We leave the room and we just keep it going."
He also praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for what he has done on the border to help bring North Korea and South Korea together peacefully.
Trump's praise of Xi echoed his tweet from earlier in the morning when he said the Chinese leader has provided "great help."
"Please do not forget the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea. Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!" Trump tweeted.
Please do not forget the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea. Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018