WASHINGTON, DC (CBSNewYork) – President Donald Trump says a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could still happen.
“We’ll see what happens, it could even be the 12th,” the president said Friday morning. “We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it, we’d like to do it, we’re going to see what happens.”
His latest statement is almost a complete 180 from Thursday when the president announced he was withdrawing from the June 12 talks after critical comments from Pyonyang, reports CBS News’ Mola Lenghi.
“I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea,” said Trump.
North Korea responded saying it was willing to sit down with the United States at any time, which the president called that a “very nice statement.”
Later Friday night, he took to Twitter again, saying “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.”
Top U.S. officials had been scheduled to go to Singapore this weekend to work with the North Koreans on summit logistics, but that trip is not happening.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Thursday the North Koreans had gone dark in recent days while trying to plan the summit.
“We had received no response to our inquiries from them,” said Pompeo.
On Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis remained hopeful.
“Possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where our diplomats may pull it off, may have it back on even,” he said.
Trump was asked if North Korea was playing games when it called Vice-President Mike Pence “a political dummy” and threatened a nuclear showdown.
“Everybody plays games,” said Trump on Friday when talking to reporters. “You know that, you know that better than anybody.”
North Korea said the president’s decision to cancel the summit was “unexpected.”