“I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”
— President Trump, on Twitter.
“A team of U.S. officials crossed into North Korea on Sunday for talks to prepare for a summit between President Trump and Kim Un, as both sides press ahead with arrangements despite the question marks hanging over the meeting,” the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “In a sign of just how important the summit is to Mr. Kim, he held an unexpected meeting on Saturday with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, where he expressed a ‘fixed will’ to try to salvage it.”
“The measured response to the cancellation, and the extraordinary diplomatic scramble that followed, was a strong reminder, analysts said, that Mr. Kim not only wants a diplomatic deal with the United States. He may need one.”
“North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, met unexpectedly with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on Saturday to discuss salvaging a canceled summit meeting between Mr. Kim and President Trump, Mr. Moon’s office said, a new twist in the whirlwind of diplomacy over the fate of the North’s nuclear arsenal,” the New York Times reports.
“President Trump had canceled the June 12 summit in Singapore on Thursday but now says it is possible that a meeting could take place as originally planned,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “We’ll see what happens. We are talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. It could even be the 12th.”
“Early Thursday morning, after a flurry of calls with a handful of senior advisers, an angry President Donald Trump personally dictated the three-paragraph letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that cancelled the scheduled summit between their two nations,” NBC News reports.
“It had been less than 12 hours since Trump and his team began grappling intensely with the prospects for shelving what would have been an historic meeting between the two heads of state.”
“But the president, fearing the North Koreans might beat him to the punch, wanted to be the one to cancel first.”
Washington Post: The inside story into how Trump’s summit fell apart.
“President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their much-anticipated meeting, which was set for June 12,” the New York Times reports.
In a letter to Mr. Kim, the American president said he would not attend the summit due to “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement.”
He was referring to recent comments from a North Korean official who described Vice President Mike Pence as “ignorant and stupid.”
Axios: “Markets fell sharply on the news, and tensions with Pyongyang are likely to ratchet up — and quickly.”
North Korea said it will reconsider a summit with President Trump “if the U.S. continues with its evil acts,” the Washington Post reports.
The statement, issued by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, took particular aim at Vice President Pence for his “unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya.”
President Trump said that his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un may not go ahead as planned, adding that if the June 12 date does not hold, “maybe it will happen later,” according to Axios.
He added: “We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens.”
However, Vox reports the U.S. government has already issued an official commemorative coin for the event.
Associated Press: “Going into the North Korea meeting, senior administration officials say, the president has been almost singularly focused on the pageantry of the summit —including the suspenseful roll-out of details. He has not been deeply engaged in briefing materials on North Korea’s nuclear program, said three people with knowledge of the White House efforts.”
Washington Post: “Trump advisers have expressed alarm at Pyongyang’s hostile rhetoric and actions over the past week, questioning whether Kim is committed to pledges to seriously discuss denuclearization.”
“President Trump, increasingly concerned that his summit meeting in Singapore next month with North Korea’s leader could turn into a political embarrassment, has begun pressing his aides and allies about whether he should take the risk of proceeding with a historic meeting that he had leapt into accepting,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Trump was both surprised and angered by a statement issued on Wednesday by the North’s chief nuclear negotiator, who declared that the country would never trade away its nuclear weapons capability in exchange for economic aid.”
“Mr. Trump’s aides have grown concerned that the president has signaled that he wants the summit meeting too much… The aides are also concerned about what kind of grasp Mr. Trump has on the details of the North Korea program, and what he must insist upon as the key components of denuclearization.”
“With just one month until a scheduled sit-down with North Korea’s leader, President Trump hasn’t set aside much time to prepare for meeting with Kim Jong Un, a stark contrast to the approach of past presidents,” Time reports.
Said one administration official: “He doesn’t think he needs to.”
“Aides plan to squeeze in time for Trump to learn more about Kim’s psychology and strategize on ways to respond to offers Kim may make in person, but so far a detailed plan hasn’t been laid out for getting Trump ready for the summit.”
North Korea cancelled talks with South Korea “indefinitely” and threatened to cancel next month’s summit with President Trump over joint U.S.-South Korean military drills, Yonhap reports.
Axios: “This is a dramatic change in tone from North Korea… North Korea has long viewed the drills as a rehearsal for invasion, but had remained uncharacteristically silent about exercises last month.”
“We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who really was excellent to these three incredible people.”
— President Trump, quoted by Politico, on the return of three Americans who had been imprisoned by North Korea.
President Trump said in tweet this morning, “I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health.”