Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called US President Donald Trump a 'mad man' while acknowledging his success with North Korea.
Ms Gillard was in conversation with former US Presidential candidate and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who appeared in Sydney as part of a two-city speaking tour.
One of the most contentious questions from Ms Gillard – which Ms Clinton labeled a leading question - concerned President Trump’s unprecedented success with North Korea.
Ms Gillard likened President Trump to a “mad man” but acknowledged claims his unconventional and unpredictable behaviour assisted in the dialogue with North Korean President Kim Jong-un.
“No one knew what he would do next, whether he’d press the button and start bombing, this inability to work out what he might do actually caused talks to start. What’s your view?” Ms Gillard said..
Ms Clinton reminded her Australian audience not to dismiss other contributing factors that resulted in the promise of a formal peace treaty ending the Korean War and the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
“This approach that President Trump has taken was effective in working with other factors and creating this opening,” Ms Clinton said.
As a tactic it may well have been a good one.
Ms Clinton said that this approach should only be used occasionally and not as a constant behaviour otherwise it would get a little old.
“Sometimes being unpredictable and being a little bit out there can have the desired effect and sometimes you can fall totally flat and you lose all credibility,” she said.
“So it is a tactic not a strategy and it’s a tactic to be deployed very carefully.”
In a week that saw three American prisoners released from North Korea and President Trump announce a meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, Ms Clinton warned the future was still uncertain.
“The proof is in the pudding which has not even been mixed yet,” she said.
I am not optimistic, I’m not pessimistic, I’m hopeful
Ms Clinton reminded the audience a verifiable and sustainable agreement had not been implemented yet.
“That doesn’t happen by tweeting about it, that happens from the hard work of putting together the pieces of an agreement.”