Trump says there's a 'substantial chance' that his scheduled meeting with Kim Jong Un won't happen

Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump
  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday said there was a “substantial chance” a planned summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wouldn’t happen.
  • “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.
  • It seems Trump may be getting cold feet about the summit with Kim because his administration is not confident that North Korea will actually agree to full denuclearization.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said there was a “substantial chance” a planned summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wouldn’t happen.

Trump said the summit, tentatively set to be held June 12 in Singapore, “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.”

“North Korea has a chance to be a great country and it can’t be a country under these circumstances they are living right now…I think they should seize the opportunity,” Trump added.

Recent reports indicated Trump aides were sceptical the talks would occur. Doubts seemed to have emerged 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 the White House national security adviser, John Bolton, regarding the approach the Trump administration might take to ensure 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 that North Korea will actually agree to give up its nuclear weapons. But on Tuesday he claimed he believes Kim is “serious” about denuclearization.

During his meeting with Trump on Tuesday, South Korea’s Moon said the “fate and future” of the Korean Peninsula depended on whether these talks took place.

North Korea conducted a slew of missile tests last year 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 intense economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea’s hostile posture shifted this year, however, fostering the possibility of talks between Trump and Kim. At the moment, however, it appears this summit could be canceled altogether.

Trump on Tuesday said Kim’s recent visit to China may have changed the North Korean leader’s stance on making a deal with the US. “I think things changed after that meeting. I cant say I’m happy about it,” Trump said.

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