Trump sounds optimistic tone about future North Korea talks, suggests June 12 summit could happen after all
May 25 at 11:28 AM Email the author
A day after aborting a summit with North Koreaâs leader, President Trump sounded an optimistic note Friday about future negotiations, saying it is even possible that a meeting could take place on June 12 as originally planned.
âWeâll see what happens. We are talking to them now,â Trump told reporters as he left the White House Friday morning. âThey very much want to do it. Weâd like to do it.â
âIt could even be the 12th,â he added, referring to the date next month that had been set for him to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
Asked if North Korea is playing games, Trump said: âEverybody plays games. You know that better than anybody.â
Trumpâs comments, as he headed to Annapolis to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement, came shortly after he also expressed optimism on Twitter about opening a dialogue with Kim â" and accused Democrats of ârooting againstâ his administrationâs efforts.
In a letter announcing Thursday announcing his decision to scrap the summit, Trump cited hostile rhetoric from North Korea in recent days.
But in one of his Friday tweets, the president characterized a new statement coming out of North Korea â" saying it remained open to talks with Trump â" as âwarm and productiveâ and âvery good news.â
âWe will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace,â Trump wrote. âOnly time (and talent) will tell!â
Following the summitâs collapse, North Koreaâs vice minister, Kim Gye Gwan, said that a meeting is urgently needed to deal with the âgrave hostilitiesâ in the relationship with the United States, which is seeking to eliminate the Northâs nuclear program. North Korea is under severe internationa l economic sanctions but has given no clear idea on how it would roll back its nuclear capabilities in exchange for concessions.
The statement from the vice minister also reportedly said: âWe reiterate to the U.S. that we are willing to sit face to face at any time and in any way.â
[Trumpâs cancellation of summit with Kim raises fears of renewed tensions, destabilization]
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis echoed Trumpâs optimism Friday while speaking to reporters before a meeting with Danish officials at the Pentagon.
âWe have got some, possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, may have it back on even,â Mattis said. âOur president just sent out a note about that a few moments ago. That is a usual give and take, you know, of trying to put together big summits and stuff. The diplomats are still at work.â
Mattis was also asked whether the U.S. military would increase military exercises after the summit cancellation.
âWe are not changing anything right now, it is steady as she goes,â he said. âThe diplomats are in the lead and in charge, and we give them our best wishes to have a fruitful way forward.â
Trump also took to Twitter on Friday to knock Democrats, whom he said are âso obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea.â
In the tweet, the Republican president ticked off other grievances with Democratic leaders, saying they are also at odds with his agenda on fighting the MS-13 gang and tax cuts. âDems have lost touch!â Trump asserted.
Following Trumpâs announcement Thursday that he was pulling the plug on his meeting with Kim, several prominent Democrats criticized his approach to North Korea.
House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), for example, called Trumpâs letter to Kim relaying his decision âanother demonstration of President Trumpâs treating of critical negotiations a s if they were just another real estate deal.â
âFrom the beginning to the present, the dealings with North Korea have been sophomoric and without strategic or tactical merit,â Hoyer said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, admonished the Trump administration during a hearing on Thursday for the âlack of deep preparationâ ahead of the summit.
âItâs pretty amazing that the administration might be shocked that North Korea is acting as North Korea might normally act,â he said.
Trump made no mention of North Korea during his address Friday to the graduating class of the Naval Academy, though he spoke of the importance of a strong military to ensure peace.
âWe are respected again,â Trump said. âI can tell you that. We are respected again.â
Missy Ryan contributed to this report.Source: Google News