- President Donald Trump’s administration is in diplomatic overdrive with three separate negotiations playing out around the US and Asia.
- He still appears to have little idea what’s going on with North Korea.
- Asked point blank if the June 12 summit was even on, Trump said only that the preparations “are in good hands.”
- Trump’s State Department also seemed not to know, or even to know what North Korea wanted or was willing to do in the talks.
- Trump said he expects to get a letter from Kim Jong Un on Friday that could clear up some details.
President Donald Trump’s administration is in diplomatic overdrive with three separate negotiations playing out around the US and Asia – but he still appears to have little idea what’s going on with an on-again, off-again summit with North Korea.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Thursday with infamous North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol in New York City, where Kim promised Trump would get a letter from Kim Jong Un on Friday.
In Singapore, journalists are being shut out of meetings to plan the logistics of the summit that is set to take place in less than two weeks.
In the demilitarized border zone between North and South Korea, US officials and North Koreans are meeting to set the agenda.
“Very good meetings with North Korea,” Trump tweeted of the talks. But asked point blank if the June 12 summit was even on, he still didn’t know, and only that the preparations “are in good hands.”
Trump’s State Department also didn’t seem to have many details. Asked if the US expects North Korea take concrete steps towards denuclearization, as the US has demanded, an unnamed official at a briefing couldn’t answer.
“Between now and if we’re going to have a summit, they’re going to have to make clear what they’re willing to do,” the official said, 13 days away from the proposed summit.
“So, again, we’re still waiting for the North Koreans to agree to disarm,” arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis responded to the State Department on Twitter.
Trump has been criticised for his disorganized approach to the meeting and accepting the summit, which experts assess was a clear diplomatic offensive from Kim.
On Friday, when Trump gets his letter from Kim, perhaps the world will know if the meeting is on or off – at least for the time being.
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