After his security detail sweeps the building, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej is ushered through a back entrance and enters the interview room alone.
Outside, protesters call on Samak to resign, and they refuse to leave the grounds of the Government House, the equivalent of the White House, which they have occupied for more than a week.
Samak, who says he has only been in office for seven months and has the right to stay for four years, refuses to resign.
"I will not resign. No reason, groundless," Samak tells ABC News. "A group of people stage a rally on the street and finger-point that the prime minister must resign. You are kidding. You will destroy the monarch."
Demonstrators accuse Samak of corruption and of being a puppet of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, accusations Samak dismisses. The protestors call themselves the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), although what they are seeking is less democracy, in fighting for more appointed positions rather than elected ones.
"I must stay to keep the country in a good shape and to protect the law and order, and to keep the system of the country," says Samak, who was educated in the United States.
"Now they say that they won," Samak says. "We ask, won [what]? These group of people, they [rouse] the people, and they are just like a cult, like in America," the 73-year-old says, making a comparison to the David Koresh congregation raided by federal agents in Waco, Texas, in 1993. "Everybody believes without reason."
Thailand plans to hold a national referendum to address the political turmoil, though details of what this will entail are not yet known.
Earlier this week, pro- and anti-government protests led to violence, and three people were killed, according to Samak. Video of the violence, which included people kicking and beating others with sticks, was broadcast around the world.
The military and riot police were immediately brought in to handle the situation. The police have made a point of being unarmed.
"This time the military knows [how] they should perform," says Samak, referring to examples in the past when the use of force has backfired.
"I understand, I can feel their difficulties. I myself must be very soft and gentle," he explains, saying he will use the law to resolve this matter. "I cannot smash on any kind of thing. It might not be please to everyone, but I must do."
The protest area is filled with music and food stalls, with people selling souvenirs and T-shirts. Samak says he is in no rush to remove people from the Government House, adding that he has been able to conduct business elsewhere.
"When we put just a deadline, that is the hard way. Soft way, we try to solve," Samak explains. "[With a] soft way, we talk to the one who has responsibility, the commander in chief of the army. We talk and we say that we do agree. It takes time.
"Now this group [is] in the place, we [lost] face on that, that's OK [...]," Samak says to ABC News. "But now they know, we can seal them."
To "seal" the protesters, the military and police plan to surround the grounds of the Government House and allow the protestors to leave, but not go back in.
"I make a proclamation for the emergency, and we think we solve the problem. The military says that no, this time we must kick the ball out of the field first," says Samak, referring to declaring Bangkok in a state of emergency on Tuesday and stressing the need to be patient.
"We need time, we must consult by the side of the field. We'll come back again. The game must end, the game must end," he says. "Give me time."
While the protest area has primarily been isolated to one area in the capital -- surrounded by barbed wire, barricades and, at times, the military and police -- the Bangkok Post reported that on Thursday night two students were shot and injured while marching with a protest group about four miles from Samak's residence.
Publicly absent from these events is King Bhumibol Adulaydej, who has intervened in the past to bring about a resolution to political crises. Samak visited the king last weekend and provided him with a report, the contents of which have been kept private.
"Give me time," Samak tells ABC News. "We must do it soft and gentle, because it's not only the Thai who are looking at this, it's the whole world, it's the whole world."