Graham warns North Korea: Don't try to 'play' Trump

Graham warns North Korea: Don't try to 'play' Trump
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria Polling analyst: Changes to legal immigration ‘the real sticking point among Democrats’ Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday voiced support for President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE’s decision to meet with Kim Jong Un while warning the North Korean leader against attempts to “play” Trump.

“The worst possible thing you can do is meet with President Trump in person and try to play him. If you do that, it will be the end of you -- and your regime,” Graham said in a statement.

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Graham, who has previously said the U.S. and North Korea appeared to be headed toward war, called the planned meeting between Kim and Trump “the best hope in decades to resolve this threat peacefully.” 

“I understand that if the past is an indication of the future, North Korea will be all talk and no action,” he added. “However, I do believe that North Korea now believes President Trump will use military force if he has to.”

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-Yong announced outside the White House on Thursday night that Trump had agreed to meet with Kim by May in an effort to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

The White House said the meeting will take place "at a place and time that's to be determined."

Trump said after the announcement that sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until an agreement is reached for Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions. 

He tweeted that Kim had discussed denuclearization with South Korean officials and that the North would not conduct missile tests during talks.

Members of the Trump administration have previously said they’d be willing to hold talks with North Korea, but that they would remain focused on getting Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.