White House sending team to Singapore despite canceled North Korea summit
The White House is sending a team to Singapore in the event that the summit between the U.S. and North Korea does take place.
“The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Saturday.
The summit between the U.S. and North Korea was canceled by President Trump on Thursday over what he called “tremendous anger and open hostility” from North Korea.
Trump called the cancellation a “tremendous setback” for North Korea and the world but noted that the meeting could still take place sometime in the future.
On Friday, Trump said the summit could happen and “could even be the 12th,” referring to the original June 12 date set for the summit. He also hailed North Korea’s response as positive.
The president decided to cancel the summit after North Korea attacked Vice President Pence for saying North Korea would end up like Libya if it did not reach a peaceful deal on its nuclear weapons during the summit.
National security adviser John Bolton made similar comments linking North Korea to Libya, which saw its leader, Moammar Gadhafi, forced from power with the help of NATO forces and then killed by U.S.-backed rebels years after he agreed to give up his nuclear ambitions for sanctions relief.
The U.S. also accused North Korea of failing to meet with a planning team.
But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Demilitarized Zone on Saturday in an effort to maintain good relations between their two nations and discuss the possible summit with the U.S., in a meeting that was kept secret until after it happened.