"I want this to happen, and North Korea to be VERY successful, but only after signing!"
Moon Jae-in, during Tuesday's scheduled two hours of talks, is to try to reassure Trump that next month's encounter with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can lead to a historic breakthrough. But that self-congratulation could come back to haunt him. Eight years later he was killed at the hands of Western-backed rebels.
On Monday, Trump appeared to shift the blame for deteriorating relations to Beijing, tweeting that the border between North Korea and China had recently become "much more porous".
He added that he believes Kim Jong Un is trying to "stall" for time. "The North's furious denouncement of [John] Bolton is viewed as an attempt to sow divisions among Trump's team, particularly as Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have aired differing views of the summit's goals in public". His aides are now looking to South Korean president Moon Jae-in to help determine whether Kim is taking a harder line against denuclearisation than South Korea had previously communicated to them, a United States official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. For Kim, meeting a USA president is a legitimizing win, lending his country previously unattainable worldwide credibility.
"It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump", Pence said according to excerpts of an interview made available by Fox.
Additionally, Trump is reportedly not thrilled about preparing for the summit, which is expected to cover not only the issue of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula but virtually every major flashpoint in East Asian geopolitics.
Watch more from "Outnumbered Overtime" above. With a shallow bench of foreign-policy experts on his team (there is now no US ambassador to South Korea, after Victor Cha's nomination was scuttled earlier this year), much of the planning has fallen to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo-the former C.I.A. director-and to national security adviser John Bolton, who has repeatedly advocated for regime change in Pyongyang. "It all sounds good if you are not aware of what North Korea's strategy is. If Trump were less vain and had allowed his national security staff to vet the NK offer, he might have learned this".
Trump-Kim summit in play as Moon visits White House
Bolton is widely perceived to have a penchant for military action, as illustrated in a column he wrote for the Wall Street Journal in February laying out the legal arguments for strikes on North Korea.
Dmitri Alperovitch, the founder of the company that played a key role in illustrating Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee, Crowdstrike, told the Guardian in February he believed North Korea is an even bigger threat than Russian Federation in cyberspace.
South Korea has reasons to push for diplomacy with North Korea, not least of which is that its citizens would be likely to bear the brunt of the suffering and death if war broke out. There have even been reports that the Center for Space Science and Technology in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) located in Dehradun had been providing technical education to North Korean scientists. When asked if Trump could still walk away from the summit scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, he replied: "Well there's no question".
The North's unexpected about-turn seems to have been premeditated.
Kim's unwinding Trump's win on the North Korea front with a sophisticated diplomatic ruse could prove embarrassing to Trump before the midterm elections later this year, when he'll look for a boost for the Republican Party.
Weeks before his planned North Korea summit, President Donald Trump is staring down a dealmaker's worst nightmare: overpromising and under-delivering.