Amid continued uncertainty over whether or not a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in the coming weeks, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House is still sending a pre-advance team to Singapore to prepare.
"The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place," Sanders said in a statement Saturday morning.
White House officials had been scheduled to travel to Singapore this weekend to plan and review logistics for the anticipated June 12 meeting. Last weekend, they traveled to Singapore and were stood up by the North Koreans, who never showed, according to a White House official.
President Trump called off the Singapore summit with a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Thursday morning. But North Korea responded later that evening expressing a willingness to talk to the U.S. at any point.
After that, Mr. Trump expressed some hope a summit might happen, "could even be the 12th," as he told reporters outside the White House Friday morning. Mr. Trump reiterated Friday night that the U.S. is having "very productive talks with North Korea" and the summit could still take place June 12th.
We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
Sanders’ announcement that the pre-advance trip is still on also comes as Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting at a border truce village on Saturday.
"We see it as fortunate that the embers of dialogue between North Korea and the United States weren’t fully extinguished and are coming alive again," Seoul’s presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom had said in a statement, as South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for a summit
If the summit is to take place on June 12, that would leave just two weeks for the U.S. teams to complete their preparations.
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