Biden Swipes at Trump, Says He Won't Give Kim Jong Un 'International Recognition'

President Joe Biden appeared to criticize his immediate predecessor, former President Donald Trump, on Friday while discussing the approach his administration planned to take on North Korea.

Biden gave a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and said he wanted to achieve "total denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea, a dictatorship led by Kim Jong Un, is a nuclear power.

The president said he wouldn't meet with Kim unless the North Korean leader made a commitment to discuss the nuclear weapons issue. Former President Trump met with Kim three times.

"If there was a commitment on which we met, then I would meet with [him]," Biden said.

"And the commitment has to be that there is discussion about his nuclear arsenal."

Biden then seemed to contrast his approach with Trump's and critique the former president's decision to meet with Kim.

"What I would not do is what has been done in the recent past," Biden said.

"I would not give him all he's looking for, international recognition as legitimate, and give him what allowed him to move in a direction of appearing to be more serious about what he wasn't at all serious about."

Trump first met Kim in Singapore in June 2018, becoming the first serving U.S. president to do so. He held summit meetings with Kim on two further occasions, in Hanoi in February 2019 and on the Korean Peninsula itself in June 2019.

During his final meeting with Kim at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea, Trump walked a few steps into North Korea. It was the first time a U.S. president had entered the country.

However, the meetings achieved little and Trump's comments about his first encounter with Kim proved controversial. The former president described the first meeting to rally-goers in West Virginia on September 29, 2018, according to USA Today.

"I was really tough and so was he, and we went back and forth," Trump said. "And then we fell in love, OK? No, really, he wrote me beautiful letters, and they're great letters. We fell in love."

Trump went on to make several comments praising Kim and describing their relationship in positive terms.

"It's a very interesting thing to say, but I've developed a very, very good relationship," Trump told the country's governors in February 2019. "We'll see what that means. But he's never had a relationship with anybody from this country and hasn't had lots of relationships anywhere."

President Moon responded to Biden's remarks on Friday, saying: "The world is welcoming America's return and keeping their hopes high for America's leadership more than ever before."

Newsweek has asked former President Trump for comment.

Joe Biden Speaks at a Press Conference
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the East Room of the White House on May 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden appeared to criticize former President Donald Trump's approach to North Korea. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images