Washington, US | May 22
President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that a planned historic meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could be delayed. He said, “There’s a very substantial chance that it won’t work out” for June 12.
Trump raised the possibility that the meeting could be pushed back during a White House meeting with South Korea President Moon Jaein, trying to coordinate strategy as concerns mounted over ensuring a successful outcome for the North Korea summit.
Trump told reporters: “If it doesn’t happen, maybe it happens later,” reflecting recent setbacks in efforts to bring about reconciliation between the two Koreas. The North pulled out of planned peace talks with the South last week, objecting to long-scheduled joint military exercises between U.S. and Republic of Korea forces. And the North threatened to abandon the planned Trump-Kim meeting over U.S. insistence on denuclearizing the peninsula, issuing a harshly worded missive that the White House dismissed as a negotiating ploy.
“There are certain conditions that we want,” Trump said Tuesday. He added if they aren’t met, “we won’t have the meeting.” He declined to elaborate on those conditions.
Trump said “there’s a very substantial chance” that the meeting won’t take place on June 12. “That doesn’t mean it won’t work out over a period of time,” he said. “But it may not work out for June 12. But there is a good chance that we’ll have the meeting.”
Moon said in the Oval Office that the “fate and the future” of the Korean Peninsula hinged on the talks, telling the U.S. president that they were “one step closer” to the dream of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
Trump said he’d noticed “a little change” in Kim Jong Un’s “attitude” after Kim took a second trip to China this month in the run-up to the summit.