Pentagon chief mum on North Korea ahead of possible summit

Pentagon chief mum on North Korea ahead of possible summit
© Greg Nash

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump replaces McMaster with Bolton | .3T omnibus awaits Senate vote | Bill gives Pentagon flexibility on spending | State approves B arms sale to Saudis State Dept. announces B in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia Mattis: Saudi Arabia 'part of the solution' in Yemen civil war MORE is remaining mum about an upcoming summit between the U.S. and North Korea, referring inquiries on the matter to the White House and the State Department on Sunday. 

“I do not want to talk about Korea at all. I will leave it to those who are leading the effort,” Mattis told reporters on Sunday, Reuters reported.

“Because it’s that delicate when you get into a position like this. The potential for misunderstanding remains very high or goes higher," he said. 

“Right now, every word is going to be nuanced and parsed apart across different cultures, at different times of the day, in different context,” Mattis added, according to the news service. 

“I’m sure the White House and the Department of State will be keeping you very well informed,” he said. 

The White House announced last Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Both parties need to do more on drug prices Senate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump White House: Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, six countries MORE agreed to meet face to face with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

Trump said on Saturday that he is looking forward to a fruitful summit with his North Korean counterpart. 

"I think North Korea is going to go very well," he said at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. "I think we will have tremendous success ... they promised they wouldn't be shooting off missiles in the meantime, and they're looking to de-nuke. They're gonna be great."  

The White House on Sunday did not rule out a potential meeting at the White House between the two leaders.

"Nothing is being ruled out," deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah said.