U.S. President Donald Trump is willing to walk away from an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday, after North Korea called into question the meeting last week.
Pence told Fox News that North Korea should not attempt to seek concessions from the United States for promises it did not intend to keep.
“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. When asked if Trump could still walk away from the summit scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, he replied: “Well there’s no question.”
North Korea‘s warning of a possible withdrawal from the summit is seen as an effort to test Trump’s willingness to make concessions on his demands for Pyongyang’s denuclearization, the U.S. official said.
“It’s straight out of North Korea’s playbook,” a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
WATCH: Did North Korea play Donald Trump?
Most analysts say it is unrealistic to believe North Korea will agree to complete abandonment of its nuclear program, which has focused on developing a missile capable of hitting the United States and which Kim sees as crucial to his survival in power.
If the summit is canceled or fails, it would be a major blow to what Trump supporters hope will be the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency.
The uncertainty comes at a time when Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has drawn criticism internationally, his moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has fueled violence on the Israel-Gaza border and he is on the defensive over an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.