The White House said Saturday that a pre-advance team is heading to Singapore in case a much-anticipated summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un goes ahead -- the latest sign that the meet-up could be back on despite its cancellation by Trump earlier this week.
“The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.
President Trump wrote to the North Korean dictator on Thursday, saying the June 12 summit was being nixed after comments by a North Korean official that had threatened nuclear war.
“Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in his letter to Kim. “Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
He called the imploded summit a “sad moment in history.”
“You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Trump wrote to Kim. “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.”
But on Friday night, Trump tweeted that “very productive talks” about reinstating the summit were underway, and he said that June 12 could still be the date for such a meeting.
He also told reporters Friday that “everybody plays games” and said: “They very much want to do it, we want to do it, we’ll see what happens.”
Trump had also blasted Democrats, saying that they were “rooting against” the U.S. in its negotiations after House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Kim was the winner from Trump's decision.
The North Koreans had also expressed willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format,”
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said, according to Yonhap News (which cited the Korean Central News Agency) that Trump’s move to call off the summit highlighted the tensions between the two countries, further emphasizing the need for a meeting. The official added that Kim had been preparing for the summit.
Fox News’ Jennifer Bowman and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.