Team is headed to Singapore this weekend to work on logistics for the trip.
UNITED STATES.- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he’s “very hopeful” that a planned U.S.-North Korean summit will proceed but laid the fate of the historic meeting squarely with Kim Jong Un, who won’t be reassured by U.S. demands for “rapid denuclearization.”
The decision about whether the June 12 meeting in Singapore between Kim and President Donald Trump happens is “ultimately up to Chairman Kim,” Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Lawmakers’ questioning of Pompeo followed Trump’s comment Tuesday that“there’s a very substantial chance”the meeting would not proceed as scheduled.
Trump told reporters Wednesday, “whatever it is, we will know next week about Singapore and if we go I think it will be a great thing for North Korea.”
Amid the uncertainty, a White House team is headed to Singapore this weekend to work on logistics for the trip. White House spokesman Raj Shah said the effort would be led by Joe Hagin, deputy chief of staff for operations. Shah noted that an advance team goes out ahead of all scheduled presidential teams.
If it goes ahead, it will be first meeting between a U.S. and a North Korean leader during more than six decades of hostility, and it would come just months after the North’s rapid progress toward attaining a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike America fueled fears of war. But the North unexpectedly pulled out of planned peace talks with South Korea last week.