Following a meeting with North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol at the White House, President Donald Trump told reporters that his previously cancelled meeting with Kim Jong Un would still be taking place on June 12 in Singapore.
Trump had previously cancelled the summit on May 24, citing a “recent statement” by North Korea as the cause for the cancellation.
Kim Yong Chol met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City yesterday, before traveling to Washington D.C. to meet with the president. This was the first time that a senior North Korean official had visited the White House since a senior military official from that country visited former-President Bill Clinton in 2000.
What did Trump say today?
After a nearly 80-minute-long meeting in the Oval Office, Trump, Pompeo, and Kim Yong Chol posed for a photo opp. Then Kim got in his motorcade and left.
“We'll be meeting in June 12 in Singapore," Trump said, after Kim Yong Chol drove away. “It went really well. It's really a get-to-know-you situation.”
He joked to the reporters gathered there. “You people will have to travel, because you're going to Singapore on June 12,” he said.
When asked about the reason that the meeting had been cancelled in the first place, Trump said that the reason didn't matter anymore, and that he and the North Koreans were “totally over that.”
Trump gave Chinese President Xi Jinping credit for helping to move the talks with North Korea forward. Trump said that Xi “has helped me quite a bit with this.”
Trump also stressed the importance of this summit.
“I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn't have it,” he said.
The upcoming meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader will be the first of its kind. The nation of Singapore is an island city-state just south of Malaysia.
But what about the letter?
Part of the reason that Kim Yong Chul met with the president was to hand deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un. But what was in that letter? We don't know yet. “That letter was a very nice letter. Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter," Trump initially said. However, moments later he clarified that he had not in fact opened the letter yet. CNN cited unnamed officials who said that they understood that the nature of the letter to be positive.