Rubio convinced Kim ‘does not want to denuclearize’

Rubio convinced Kim ‘does not want to denuclearize’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power McConnell pushes back on Trump: 'There will be an orderly transition' Graham vows GOP will accept election results after Trump comments MORE (R-Fla.) said on Sunday that he is convinced that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "does not want to denuclearize.”

Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, was cautious when asked on ABC's "This Week" whether there was cause to be optimistic about a possible summit between Kim and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE.

“It all depends,” he said. “It depends on exactly what we should expect on the back end.”

“This is a very erratic regime,” he added.

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“We have a leader in Kim Jong Un who has almost an emotional attachment ... to these nuclear weapons.”

Rubio also said that Kim is probably afraid that “someone is going to take him out” without the weapons.

“I remain convinced that he does not want to denuclearize.”

His comments come hours after South Korea’s president said that Kim is committed to “complete” denuclearization and a summit with Trump.

“Chairman Kim and I have agreed that the June 12 summit should be held successfully, and that our quest for the Korean peninsula’s denuclearization and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted,” Moon Jae-in told reporters in Seoul on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Trump, meanwhile, hinted late Saturday that a meeting with the North Korean leader is still possible.

Trump in a letter to Kim last week canceled the summit, planned for June 12 in Singapore, and called his withdrawal a "tremendous setback."

"I just want to mention we're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea. Looks like it's going along very well," Trump told reporters at the White House late Saturday.

Rubio said on Sunday that Trump gave Kim "a taste of his own medicine" in canceling the summit.

"It seems to have knocked them off balance," the senator said of North Korea.