Meeting with Kim 'may not work out for June 12' - Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday there was a “substantial chance” his summit with Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un will not take place as planned on June 12 amid concerns that Kim is resistant to giving up his nuclear weapons.

Meeting with Kim 'may not work out for June 12' - Donald Trump

Trump raised doubts about the Singapore summit in talks with Republic of Korea (ROK) President Moon Jae-in, who came to Washington to urge Trump not to let a rare opportunity with the DPRK slip away.

If the summit is called off or fails, it would be a major blow to what Trump supporters hope will be the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency, and a huge disappointment for the president himself.

“There’s a very substantial chance ... it won’t work out. And that’s OK,” Trump told reporters. “That doesn’t mean it won’t work out over a period of time. But it may not work out for June 12. But there is a good chance that we’ll have the meeting.”

Trump said whether the meeting will be held as scheduled will be determined “pretty soon.”

“North Korea (DPRK) has a chance to be a great country and I think they should seize the opportunity,” he said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later told reporters the Trump administration was still planning for a June 12 summit, but he declined to predict whether it would actually take place.

Trump’s Oval Office remarks were the strongest sign from him yet about the possibility of a delay or cancellation of what would be the first-ever summit between the leaders of the US and DPRK.

It was unclear whether Trump was truly backing away from the summit or whether he was strategically coaxing the DPRK to the table after decades of tension on the Korean Peninsula and antagonism with Washington over its nuclear weapons program.

The original purpose of Trump and Moon’s meeting was to fine-tune a joint strategy for dealing with Kim. Instead it has become more of a crisis session after Pyongyang last week threatened to pull out of the planned summit.

The White House was caught off guard when, in a dramatic change of tone, the DPRK condemned the latest US-ROK air combat drills, suspended North-South talks and threw into doubt the summit with Trump if Pyongyang was pushed toward “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”

Moon keen for summit

Aides said Trump has privately been wondering whether Kim is serious about the summit after the abrupt change in tone.

Moon told Trump in their private talks that there was no need to doubt the DPRK’s will to hold a summit, a ROK government spokesman told reporters.

US officials have privately expressed concern that Moon, eager to make progress with the DPRK, may have overstated Kim’s willingness to negotiate in good faith over the dismantling of his nuclear arsenal.

Moon was optimistic about the summit in his Oval Office remarks. His national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, told reporters en route to Washington that he believed there was a "99.9 percent chance" the Trump-Kim summit would take place as scheduled.

Moon said he realized many were skeptical in the US about the summit, "but I don’t think there will be positive developments in history if we just assume that, because it all failed in the past, it will fail again."



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