Will it happen, or will it not? U.S. President Donald Trump says the Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un ‘could happen.’ This comes just about 24 hours after he called off the meeting with the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The DPRK is also saying it still wants the talks with Trump.
CGTN’s Nathan King reports.
It’s like watching a game of diplomatic table tennis: the back and forth between Pyongyang and Washington in the last 24 hours has been incredible.
“We’re going to see what happens. We’re talking to them now,” President Trump said.
First, we had the Thursday letter from U.S. President Donald Trump to DPRK’s Kim Jong Un canceling the June 12 summit in Singapore. Then overnight, a communique released from the DPRK’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan calling for the talks.
“We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem[s] regardless of ways at any time,” said Kim via DPRK state media KCNA.
N. Korea has just published the English-language version of its statement on Trump’s pullout from the Singapore summit. pic.twitter.com/wjri8Q0I3X
— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) May 25, 2018
“It was a very nice statement they put out. We’ll see what happens,” said Trump in response. The president also commented on Twitter, calling it “warm and productive”.
Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea. We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018
All this has led to feverish activity at the White House. One senior White House official saying June 12 is like “10 minutes away.”
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis also said the summit between the DPRK and U.S. could still happen if the diplomats can ‘pull it off.’
World leaders hold out hope Trump-Kim Summit will still happen
World leaders, as a whole, remain optimistic that a Trump-Kim Summit will eventually take place. Many are gathered in St Petersburg, Russia, for an international economic forum. CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.
China said it still holding out hope that U.S. President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un will sit down and talk, face-to-face. Wang Qishan, the Chinese Vice President, said both men “have left room for maneuver for each other.”
U.S. officials on Friday suggested a historic summit – scheduled for next month – might still happen, just 24 hours after President Trump announced he’s out.
Wang was speaking at an economic forum in Russia on Friday. He shared the stage with other world leaders, including Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. After Abe initially said he supported Trump’s decision, on Friday the Japanese Prime Minister said world leaders should do everything they can to help ensure the talks take place. But dialogue for the sake of dialogue, he said, is pointless.
“France, China and of course the United States, people across the world, we would like them to work together to push the DPRK in the right direction,” Abe said. “In order to do that, we must work together and tackle this problem the DPRK poses.”
Abe also warned world players against making long-term partnerships with Pyongyang before it meets certain conditions.
The event’s host was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Thursday defended Kim, saying the DPRK leader “did everything he promised in advance.”
Meanwhile, in Vienna, South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-Yeon told his Austrian host he was regretful that the June 12th meeting won’t happen. “I am not being pessimistic about it and still have hope,” Lee said. “I believe we should revive the historic opportunity for denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.”
It was an optimism echoed in Beijing.
“We strongly hope,” Lu Kung, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “That both the DPRK and the U.S. can cherish the recent positive progress, stay patient, demonstrate good will, move in the same direction, and continue to stay committed to promoting the denuclearization of the peninsula and resolving each other’s concerns through dialogue and consultation.”
Sourabh Gupta discusses US-DPRK relations and possibility of talks
CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Sourbah Gupta a senior fellow at the Institute for China-America Studies on U.S.-DPRK potential summit.