Dem strategist says Kim has 'strategic advantage' in denuclearization talks with Trump

Democratic strategist Joe McLean told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had a "strategic advantage" that contributed to the failure of last week's denuclearization summit with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' MORE

"I'm one of the people who think there is actually some advantage to being unpredictable," McLean, who led former President Obama's Senate campaign in 2004, told hosts Buck Sexton and Juanita Tolliver. 

"I think that Donald Trump understands that very well," he continued. "The problem is there was no preparation. There was nothing going in. He's just flying by the seat of his pants." 

"I don't think Kim is a madman. I think, given their position in the world, being unpredictable and having people think that you might do something crazy is a real strategic advantage," he said. 

"So what does he do? He pulls Trump in, he gets to look like a reasonable guy, he's elevated on the international stage. ... He gives up nothing, he goes home and starts building rocket engines again,"  he said. 

South Korean officials on Tuesday reportedly saw new indications of activity at North Korean nuclear sites that Pyongyang had pledged to dismantle. 

The reports come nearly a week after the two leaders failed to reach an agreement at their second summit, which Trump called "very productive."

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that," Trump said. 

— Julia Manchester