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Trump: “There’s A Substantial Chance” North Korea Summit Won’t Work Out

Donald Trump

The New York Times is reporting Donald Trump’s much-ballyhooed summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, may not take place as scheduled.

“There’s a very substantial chance that it won’t work out,” Mr. Trump told reporters before a meeting in the Oval Office with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in. “It may not work out for June 12.”

Mr. Trump expressed continued enthusiasm for the diplomatic encounter, saying he believed it could usher in a period of prosperity for North Korea. But he acknowledged that recent statements by North Korea had cast a pall of uncertainty over the timing of the meeting, which is set for Singapore. He appeared as baffled as anyone else about what might come next.

“We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said. “There are certain conditions we want to happen. I think we’ll get those conditions. And if we don’t, we won’t have the meeting.

“If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later,” he added. “Maybe it will happen at a different time. We will see. We are talking.”

According to Vox, a big part of the problem is South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Moon is a leftist who took office in May of last year, back when Trump was threatening war with North Korea. He made a deep and concerted effort to try to broker negotiations between Trump and Kim to defuse the tension, and part of his strategy was making grandiose promises about what talks could accomplish — even floating the possibility that Trump could win a Nobel Prize to entice him to the table.

The problem, as Kelly points out, is that this was always a kind of shell game: Moon could never change the fact that the US and North Korea want fundamentally different things. Basically, he argues, this was a gambit to try to convince Trump not to go to war with North Korea — one that may yet fail.