U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to state that there is absolutely “ZERO disagreement within the Trump administration on how to deal with North Korea….and if there was, it wouldn’t matter.”
The tweet seems to reference a story from the New York Times, which states that the White House was divided on its strategy to deal with the hostile state. The story also quotes an anonymous source claiming that it’s now too late to hold the summit on June 12 as planned.
While peace between the warring North and South Koreas seemed feasible just weeks ago, hesitation by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to dismantle their nuclear weapons arsenal has prompted the U.S. president to rescind his offer to host a peace summit in Singapore.
Trump scrapped the meeting entirely in a letter to Kim on Thursday, after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials demanding unilateral disarmament.
Despite the letter, Trump maintained Friday that Washington was having “productive talks” with Pyongyang about reinstating the June 12 meeting.
“We are having very productive talks 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,” Trump said on Twitter.
However, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that an “advance team” of White House and U.S. State Department officials would leave for Singapore as scheduled this weekend to prepare for a possible summit there.
In recent developments, South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a surprise meeting Saturday morning, marking the second time the two leaders have ever met.
South Korean officials told Reuters that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that the Singapore summit goes ahead as planned.
Tensions between North Korea and the United States had been building for years before Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to hold what would be the first meeting between a U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
In April, Kim and Moon also met for the first time, during which they publicly announced the beginning of peace talks, and pledged to end the decades-long Korean war, which would reunite thousands of families divided by the conflict.
-With files from Reuters.