“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 even,” Mattis told reporters outside the Pentagon, where he waited to greet Denmark’s defense minister.
“Our president just sent out a note about that a few moments ago,” Mattis continued. “That is a usual give and take, you know, of trying to put together big summits and stuff. The diplomats are still at work.”
The trip began to unravel after the US suggested North Korea de-nuclearization could follow a model leading to the ouster of the North Korean leader.
Minutes before, Trump told reporters outside the White House that “we’re talking to them now,” referring to the North Korean government, after North Korea’s minister for foreign affairs released a conciliatory note Friday morning in the wake of the canceled summit. The statement expressed hope that the talks could be revived.
“It was a very nice statement they put out. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said, suggesting that the June 12 meeting could be back on, according to news reports.
President Trump said recently he would consider removing U.S. troops to get a better trade deal with South Korea.
Trump canceled the summit Thursday after North Korea criticized National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence for suggesting that the Libya model of de-nuclearization was the approach the U.S. would take with North Korea. That approach led to the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.