Trump shifts stance on Korea top of ‘off’ to ‘maybe’

WASHINGTON – “Everyone plays games,” President Donald Trump stated if he sets of the potential historic North-Korean summit, he had suddenly called off would be to get back on track.

Set his sights on a meeting that has raised expectations for a halt in North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, Trump welcomed the North conciliatory answer to his Thursday letter to withdraw from the Singapore summit with Kim Jong-Un. Revival hopes as soon as he had bathed them, Trump said it was possible the meeting could take place on the originally scheduled June 12 date.

“They very much want to do; we would like to do it,” he said.

Later Friday, Trump tweeted that the two countries were “very productive conversations.” He wrote that the summit, “if it happens, will likely continue in Singapore on the same date.”

The sweetening show was only the last modification in a roller-coaster game of brinkmanship — talks about the discussions with two unpredictable world leaders trade threats and blandishments. On Thursday, White House officials had noted that Trump had the door open with a letter from Kim that it’s the fault of “enormous anger and open hostility” by Pyongyang, but urged Kim to call him.

Friday, North Korea in a statement saying it was still “willing to give the US time and opportunities to” rethink conversations “at any time, on any format.” Trump quickly tweeted that the statement was “very good news” and told reporters that “now we are talking.”

Confidence in his negotiating skills, Trump views the meeting as an inheritance-the definition of opportunity and has enjoyed the attention from the press and the speculation about a possible Nobel prize for Peace. He made a quick decision to accept the sit-down in March, over concerns of a lot of top aides, and has remained committed, even in the midst of the growing concern about the challenges that he will encounter in the scoring of a positive agreement.

Asked Friday if the North Koreans were playing games with their communication, Trump replied: “Everyone plays games. You know that better than anyone.”

While the president is not in detail the nature of the new AMERICAN a communication with the North on Friday, Defence Minister Jim Mattis said at the Pentagon, “The diplomats are still at work on the top, the possibility of a top, so that is very good news.” He characterizes the recent back-and-forth as the “usual give and take.”

A previously planned trip by the White House assistants to Singapore this weekend to work on the logistics for the trip stayed on schedule,” said two White House officials, who were not allowed to speak publicly.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo spoke Friday with a top official from South Korea, whose leaders had appeared to be surprised when the Trumpet withdrew from the top. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo and South Korean Minister of Foreign affairs Kang Kyung-wha reaffirmed their “shared commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” and promised to coordinate “in all their efforts to create conditions for a dialogue with North Korea.”

The south Korean government said in a statement released Saturday, was relieved about the revived talks for a top.

The US and North Korea do not have formal diplomatic relations, complicating the task of the communication between the two governments. Under the Trump administration, the CIA, where Pompeo has served as director before he was secretary of state, has an exceedingly prominent role in the back-channel negotiations.

Pompeo last year, a working group at the CIA called the Korea Mission Center, which gradually took the leading role in the discussions with the North Koreans, and the director, a retired high-ranking CIA official with deep experience in the region, was the main U.S. interlocutor with Pyongyang.

The group did not supplant the State Department of the traditional way of communication with the North, known as the “New York Channel” and it comes to US diplomats and their North Korean counterparts, installed in front of the United Nations. But it did play the main role in the organizing of Pompeo’s two trips to Pyongyang, as the director of the CIA and as secretary of state.

Trump’s comments Friday came after days of mixed messages on the top.

Trump, in his letter to Kim on Thursday, objections specific to a declaration of a summit of the North Korean Ministry of Foreign affairs officially. That statement referred to Vice-President Mike Pence as a “political dummy’ for his comments on the North-and said that it was up to the Americans whether they would “meet us in a conference room or in the meeting with us at nuclear-to-nuclear confrontation.”

Trump then said of the White House, that a “pressure campaign” from the economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea — with which the US is technically still at war — although he added that it was possible the summit would take place at some point.

A senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises made ahead of the summit, including a pledge to the international inspectors overseeing the explosive destruction of all nuclear weapons test site. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid overshadowing the Trump’s comments Thursday.

Trump’s assistants had warned that only to agree with the top had Kim with long-sought international legitimacy and, as Trump finally back up, he risked fostering the perception that the president was not sufficiently committed to diplomatic solutions to the nuclear issue.

U.S. defense intelligence and government officials have repeatedly examined the North to be on the threshold of having the ability to strike anywhere in the united states with a nuclear tipped missile, with a capacity of Trump and other AMERICAN officials have said that they would not tolerate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in St. Petersburg, saying that “if you don’t behave aggressively and if you don’t angle North Korea, is the result that we need, reached sooner than many would think, and at less cost.”

Trump, speaking Friday to graduates of the U. S. Naval Academy, did not mention North Korea directly, but he stressed that the United States has the military power.

He said: “The best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war.”


Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Robert Burns contributed to this report.

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