Washington Examiner: Trump tries to woo Kim back into summit26 May 2018 | 18:18 | FOCUS News Agency
But resurrecting a meeting between the two leaders will take a major show of good faith by the Kim regime, according to White House officials and people close to the administration, who worry that North Korea’s provocations are being ignored amid the excessive focus on whether a summit will occur.
“I think we’re all sort of obsessed with this idea of a summit when the bottom line is this all boils down to one thing: Is Kim Jong Un committed to giving up his nuclear weapons and will he agree to a plan to do just that before meeting with Trump?” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest.
Trump’s decision to withdraw from his June 12 meeting with Kim in Singapore came 24 hours after North Korea escalated its criticism of the Trump administration, lobbing insults at Vice President Mike Pence and warning of a “nuclear showdown” with the U.S. in place of diplomatic talks and a nuclear summit.
“The threat in the statement was the final straw because the summit can’t work under those circumstances,” a senior White House official told the Washington Examiner.
Administration officials began to grow wary of Kim’s commitment to denuclearization long before the isolated nation’s vice minister of foreign minister made the threat in a statement Wednesday night. White House officials revealed to reporters on Thursday that President Trump had sent Joe Hagin, his deputy chief of staff for operations, to Singapore last week along with other senior White House officials to appropriately prepare for the president’s upcoming meeting with Kim. Upon arriving, they learned the North Korean officials who were supposed to join them for planning would no longer be showing up.
Trump has repeatedly stated he remains willing to meet with Kim as planned, though the administration and its allies are unlikely to proceed without seeing the regime take “concrete and verifiable” actions toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program. Or before senior officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have had a chance to communicate with Kim about those actions.
But determining which route to take with North Korea, whether complete denuclearization is the only condition for sanction relief and economic aid or Kim can gradually dismantle his weapons program, has yet to be decided upon within the administration.
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