Trump-Kim summit: Is it still on?

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were planning to meet in Singapore on June 12, and, unt...

Posted: May 28, 2018 5:16 PM
Updated: May 28, 2018 5:16 PM

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were planning to meet in Singapore on June 12, and, until just a few days ago, everything appeared to be on track.

Then the summit was off. Then it was on. Maybe.

Will it still happen? Who knows, but this should get you up to speed ... for now.

How did we get here?

Up until about two weeks ago, things seemed to be moving ahead as planned. The two sides had announced that the historic summit (a sitting US President has never met a North Korean leader) would take place June 12 in Singapore.

The first sign something was amiss was on May 15, when North Korea abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with the South Koreans. Pyongyang said it was angry about joint military drills between the US and South Korea.

The rhetoric reached fever pitch Thursday when a high-level North Korean Foreign Ministry official called US Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" for repeating a reference to the "Libya model" with respect to talks with North Korea.

The Libya model refers to the agreement Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi made to give up his nuclear weapons, only to be toppled by Washington-backed rebels years later. In the same bombastic statement, Pyongyang also threatened a nuclear showdown.

US officials said the personal attack on Pence and threat of nuclear war was the final straw.

Trump canceled the summit Thursday in a letter to Kim, citing the hostile rhetoric anger and amid concerns over North Korea's commitment to give up its nuclear weapons.

How did North and South Korea react to Trump's decision?

South Korea's President, Moon Jae-in (who was in Washington to talk North Korea with Trump last week) called an emergency meeting in the middle of the night once Trump canceled.

Moon looked grim faced in a photo released to the public. He was quoted as saying he was "perplexed by the decision."

North Korea then surprised many by responding to Trump's bombshell move without insults or bluster. The Friday statement from a top diplomat said Pyongyang regretted Washington's decision to nix the summit and said it was still willing to sit down with the United States.

Trump seemed to take kindly to the overture, telling reporters that he thought the statement was "very nice" and that Washington was continuing to talk to Pyongyang.

He even hinted that the summit could still happen on June 12.

"Everybody plays games. You know that," he told reporters when asked about the ongoing talks. "You know that better than anybody."

Confused? So were the Koreans

Kim Jong Un, it appears, wasn't sure what to make of all of this.

Friday afternoon Korean time, he reached out to Moon and said he wanted to meet in person (the two held their first summit together at the end of April).

Moon agreed, and the two sat down together Saturday afternoon -- a remarkably short amount of time to organize such a high-level meeting and only the fourth time leaders of the two Koreas have met face-to-face.

The meeting was kept secret until it was done.

Moon briefed reporters on his meeting with Kim Sunday, saying that both sides were still committed to moving forward.

Trump said late Saturday in Washington -- about the same time Moon was speaking reporters Sunday in Seoul --- that "we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed and it's moving along pretty well."

A group of US diplomats traveled to Pyongyang Sunday for preparatory talks, while a separate team of officials from Washington left for Singapore to plan logistics.

So is the summit still on?

Right now, it appears so based on Trump's comments Saturday night. But that doesn't mean it's certain to happen, as the last few days have proven.

After all, this is a President who has unapologetically thrown out the rule book when it comes to diplomacy. Nuclear negotiations with North Korea appear to be no exception.

As the reality TV star-turned President likes to say, "we'll see what happens."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1942469

Reported Deaths: 50977
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2563999824
Queens2561569457
Suffolk1888053289
Nassau1732163085
Bronx1707686325
New York1284834268
Westchester1232032226
Erie781931671
Richmond685931724
Monroe587741024
Orange44911782
Rockland44823931
Onondaga35149658
Dutchess27142428
Albany23149340
Oneida21095497
Niagara17405331
Broome16957347
Saratoga13944158
Ulster12588240
Schenectady12128189
Rensselaer10359135
Putnam993891
Chautauqua8123131
Chemung6979133
Oswego680590
Ontario661191
Steuben6119141
St. Lawrence607494
Sullivan586468
Cayuga574590
Jefferson534563
Wayne505566
Cattaraugus496679
Genesee4945121
Herkimer4836107
Clinton439131
Madison420185
Tompkins398049
Fulton391085
Livingston389058
Columbia376299
Montgomery3749114
Cortland348260
Warren328855
Tioga327058
Wyoming317450
Allegany310782
Otsego306746
Greene303774
Chenango295672
Washington277955
Orleans267383
Lewis239133
Franklin235112
Delaware206935
Seneca182456
Schoharie147815
Essex147626
Yates108326
Schuyler96913
Hamilton2942
Unassigned17396
Out of NY0213
Rome
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 78°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 69°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 78°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 78°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!