President Donald Trump on Thursday said he will know “very soon” whether his much-anticipated meeting with Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore next month, after the North Korean leader threatened to abandon the historic summit.
"We’ll see what happens. If the meeting happens, it happens. And if it doesn’t, we go on to the next step," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
"We are continuing to negotiate in terms of location — where to meet, how to meet, rooms, everything else. They’ve been negotiating like nothing happened," he said. "But if you read the newspapers, maybe it won’t happen. I can’t tell you yet. I will tell you very shortly. We’re going to know very soon."
The meeting was set for June 12 in Singapore, but on Wednesday, Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s first vice foreign minister, issued a statement through the state-run Central News Agency White House national security adviser John Bolton.
He said Trump “will be recorded as more tragic and unsuccessful president than his predecessors, far from his initial ambition to make unprecedented success" if his diplomacy toward Kim mirrors that of previous commanders in chief.
Earlier on Wednesday, Seoul-based media outlet Yonhap News Agency reported the North had abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea and was considering withdrawing from Kim’s summit with Trump because of ongoing military exercises.
“The president is prepared and will be ready to meet, and we’re continuing to move forward with the preparations at this point. And if the North Koreans want to meet, we’ll be there,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.
“The president, as we’ve said all along, will be prepared and ready to meet, and there’s really not a lot to add beyond that point,” Sanders said. “We’re continuing in the maximum pressure campaign, but again, nothing has changed on our end. This was an invitation that North Korea offered and that we’ve accepted, and we’re continuing to move forward in those preparations.”