Mattis: There may be 'good news' on Trump-Kim summit

Mattis: There may be 'good news' on Trump-Kim summit
© Greg Nash

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump shifts tone on Saudis | New pressure from lawmakers | Trump: 'Certainly looks' like Khashoggi dead | Pompeo gives Saudis days to wrap up investigation | Trump threatens military action on border to stop migrants Pentagon: We have not been asked to move troops to the border Mexico will ask UN for help handling refugee applications MORE on Friday added to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE's suggestions that the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may still happen, a day after Trump called it off.

“We have got some — possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, may have it back on,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon before meeting with Denmark’s defense minister.

Mattis’s comments came after Trump said at the White House the summit could still happen on the date for which it was originally planned.


“We’ll see what happens. It could even be the 12th,” Trump told reporters before leaving for the U.S. Naval Academy to deliver a commencement address.

"They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. We’re going to see what happens," Trump added.

On Thursday, Trump dictated a letter to Kim saying that the summit planned for June 12 in Singapore would not happen after a week of escalating rhetoric from Pyongyang. Trump said in the letter that North Korea was displaying “tremendous anger and open hostility.”

North Korea responded to the cancellation by saying it is still open to talks with Trump.

"We reiterate to the U.S. that there is a willingness to sit down at any time, in any way, to solve the problem," a top North Korean official said.

On Friday, Mattis described the situation as the “usual give and take” of diplomacy. 

“That is a usual give and take, you know, of trying to put together big summits and stuff. The diplomats are still at work,” he said.

Mattis also reiterated that the U.S. military has not changed its posture on the Korean peninsula as a result of the uncertainty. A day earlier, Pentagon officials said at a press briefing that posture had not changed after the summit fell through.

“We are not changing anything right now. It is steady as she goes,” Mattis said. “The diplomats are in the lead and in charge, and we give them our best wishes to have a fruitful way forward.”