Back on again: Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore

President Donald Trump announced Friday that his historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is now back on for June 12 in Singapore. Trump made the announcement after an hour-long meeting with a top North Korean official.


“We'll be meeting on June 12 in Singapore," the president told reporters after the North Korean emissary left the White House.

Trump called Friday's meeting with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol a "great start." The President confirmed that the visiting official gave him a personal letter from dictator Kim Jong Un.

The President spoke to reporters after an extraordinary scene played out on White House grounds, with Trump hosting the North Korean official for over an hour in the Oval Office -- the latest gesture in an effort by both sides to get talks back on track after North Korea's belligerent rhetoric prompted Trump to nix the summit last week.

Trump said the meeting was supposed to just be about "the delivery of a letter" but ended up being a lengthy conversation with the "second most powerful man in North Korea."

“We talked about a lot of things," Trump said. "We really did. But the big deal will be on June 12.”

Despite making a show of pulling out of the summit, Trump and top U.S. officials continued to work towards planning the event and teased the possibility it might take place as previously scheduled. Trump said as recently as Thursday that “hopefully we’ll have a meeting on the 12th.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a central part of the Oval Office meeting on Friday, which also included chief of staff John Kelly. National security adviser John Bolton, who is deeply skeptical of North Korean diplomatic efforts, was not seen entering or exiting the meeting and was not among those listed as an attendee in a press pool report.

Pompeo had already held meetings in New York with Kim Yong Chol and other North Korean officials earlier in the week to discuss plans for the summit. But the top U.S. diplomat failed to secure a definitive commitment from North Korea to reenact plans for the summit, prompting skepticism over whether it would truly take place.

Both Trump and Kim Jong Un hold significant stakes in the negotiations, with the U.S. leader poised to clinch perhaps his greatest diplomatic feat yet if he is able to convince North Korea to denuclearize. His efforts in kicking off peace talks between the U.S. and North Korea, his allies have argued, have already catapulted him into contention for the Nobel Peace Prize, which Barack Obama won early in his own presidency.

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