Trump officials prepare for Singapore summit with North Korea

Posted at 6:14 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 18:14:09-04

Administration officials have been instructed to move forward with plans to convene a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The decision is ultimately up to Trump, who said on Wednesday he would announce the time and location in three days.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump ruled out the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean border as a potential location for the talks with Kim. Singapore and the DMZ are the only two places Trump has floated in public as potential venues for the meeting.

The Southeast Asian city-state has been the preferred location among US officials, who saw its neutrality as an advantage over locations closer to Pyongyang.

The White House declined to comment on the summit’s location.

Speaking during a briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders affirmed that a date and site had been determined.

“I can tell you that a date and location are set but beyond that, I don’t have any other announcements at this point,” Sanders said. “But we expect that to be announced here in the next few days.”

Even as Trump on Wednesday sought to heighten expectations for his summit, he acknowledged that the plans could fall apart.

“Everything can be scuttled. Everything can be scuttled,” he said. “A lot of good things can happen, a lot of bad things can happen. I believe that we have — both sides want to negotiate a deal. I think it’s going to be a very successful deal.”

But, he repeated, “lots of things can happen. And, of course, you’ll be the first to know about it if it fails.”