President Donald Trump said Saturday that the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month is still on. His comment was backed up by reports of Trump administration officials traveling to North Korea on Sunday to begin preparations for the summit.
Has the summit date changed?
“We’re looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn’t changed,” Trump said during press conference late Saturday with Josh Holt, the American who was held as a prisoner in Venezuela since 2016.
Trump said the North Korean summit is still happening, even though he announced Thursday that it was cancelled.
During the Saturday photo-op, Trump recognized Holt and asked Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and others to speak about the work involved in getting Holt freed, according to published reports.
Trump then addressed the summit.
“We are doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea,” Trump said. “Looks like it’s going along very well. As you know, there are meetings going on as we speak in a certain location which I won’t name, but you’d like the location. It’s not so far away from here.”
He added: “It’s moving along nicely. We are looking at June 12 in Singapore. That hasn’t changed. It’s moving along pretty well. So we’ll see what happens.”
Trump suggested Friday on Twitter that the summit is still going to happen. On Thursday, he tweeted that it was cancelled.
We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
I have decided to terminate the planned Summit in Singapore on June 12th. While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world… pic.twitter.com/jT0GfxT0Lc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018
What happened Sunday?
On Sunday, a team of U.S. officials visited North Korea to help prepare for the summit.
Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North, is helping to make preparations, the Washington Post reported.
“He crossed the line that separates the two Koreas to meet with Choe Son Hui, the North Korean vice foreign minister who said last week that Pyongyang was ‘reconsidering’ the talks,” WaPo reported. “Kim and Choe know each other well — both were part of their respective delegations that negotiated the 2005 denuclearization agreement through the six-party framework.”
Kim is joined by Allison Hooker, a Korea specialist on the National Security Council, and an official from the Defense Department.
On March 8, the White House confirmed Trump was planning to meet with Kim. The goal of the summit is to “de-nuclearize” North Korea, according to published reports.