President Donald Trump on Tuesday said there’s a “substantial chance” a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un won’t happen.
Trump said the summit, which was tentatively set to be held on June 12 in Singapore, ” target=”_blank”may not work out.”
“If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later,” Trump said as he hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House. “You never know about deals… I’ve made a lot of deals. You never really know.”
This comes after reports that Trump aides were skeptical the talks would occur. The skepticism seems to have started not long after North Korea threatened to cancel the summit in relation to joint military exercises between the US and South Korea.
North Korea also recently expressed dismay over comments made by White House national security adviser John Bolton regarding the Trump administration’s potential approach to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
It seems Trump may be getting cold feet about the summit with Kim because his administration is not confident the North Korean regime will actually agree to full denuclearization.
During his meeting with Trump on Tuesday, South Korea’s Moon said the “fate and future” of the Korean Peninsula depends on whether or not these talks occur.
In 2017, North Korea conducted a slew of missile tests as part of its broader ambition of creating a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the mainland US. This raised tensions dramatically on the Korean Peninsula, caused a war of words between Trump and Kim, and led the international community to issue harsh economic sanctions against Pyongyang.
North Korea’s hostile nature was seemingly shifting in 2018, however, which fostered the possibility of talks between Trump and Kim. At the moment, however, it appears this summit could be cancelled altogether.