President Donald Trump told reporters Friday he remains open to holding a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on June 12.
The President said lines of communication had opened between the two countries after officials said Thursday that the North Koreans had become unresponsive, leading to the planned summit’s cancellation.
“We’re going to see what happens. We’re talking to them now. It was a very nice statement they put out,” Trump said on the South Lawn before departing in his helicopter for the US Naval Academy in Maryland, where he is delivering a commencement address.
We’ll see what happens. It could even be the 12th. We’re talking to them now,” he said. “They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it.”
Asked whether the North Koreans were playing games, Trump acknowledged they were — and suggested he was too.
“Everybody plays games. You know that,” he told reporters when asked about the ongoing talks. “You know that better than anybody.”
Earlier Friday morning, Trump also hailed North Korea’s statement that its leader, Kim Jong Un, is still willing to meet Trump “at any time” despite the President’s cancellation of an historic summit between the two leaders.
“Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea,” Trump wrote Friday morning on Twitter. “We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!”
Kim Kye Gwan, a top official at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said Trump’s decision to cancel the talks, which were scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, ran counter to the global community’s wishes for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“We would like to make known to the US side once again that we have the intent to sit with the US side to solve problem(s) regardless of ways at any time,” said Kim in comments published Friday by the country’s state-run news agency KCNA. Kim also said Trump’s decision was “not consistent with the desire of humankind for peace and stability in the world, to say nothing of those in the Korean Peninsula.”
Minutes before his Friday morning tweet, Trump claimed Democrats were “rooting” against his administration in its negotiations with North Korea.
“Democrats are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea,” the President wrote on Twitter. “Just like they are coming to the defense of MS 13 thugs, saying that they are individuals & must be nurtured, or asking to end your big Tax Cuts & raise your taxes instead. Dems have lost touch”.
Trump announced his decision to scrap the June summit in a letter Thursday that read “I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting” following antagonistic rhetoric from Pyongyang.
After the news the summit was called off, Democrats criticized Trump for the decision.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill that the canceled summit was “a good thing for Kim Jong Un.”
Pelosi said the meeting “takes preparation, this takes knowledge, this takes judgment, and clearly it takes preparation, which the President didn’t make.”
“It’s clear he didn’t know what he was getting into,” the California Democrat said. “And now he’s walking away from it in this very chummy, palsy-walsy letter to Kim Jong-un. He, Kim Jong-un, is the big winner.”
She added, “And when (Kim) got this letter from the President saying, ‘Okay, nevermind,’ he must be having a giggle fit right there now in North Korea.”