According to NBC News, “the decision occurred so abruptly that the administration was unable to give congressional leaders and key allies advance notice.”
The letter went out while more than two dozen foreign journalists, including several U.S. citizens, were inside North Korea where they had gone to witness a promised dismantling of a nuclear test site.
Warring factions within the Trump administration have been making negotiations difficult. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has traveled to North Korea to meet with Kim in an effort to push for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear issue. Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton, however, has fanned the flames of using military force. On April 29, Bolton first proposed the “Libya model” that was cited by Pence earlier this week.
Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) said that Trump’s team simply wasn’t prepared for the meeting.
The idea that Donald Trump would cancel an historic summit because of someone else’s strong words is absurd. With 3 weeks to go, he and his team were not prepared, plain and simple. Saved by the bell.
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) May 24, 2018
On Friday morning, Trump made another surprise announcement to reporters when he said that the June 12th meeting might be back on.
Don’t cancel your Singapore airline tickets: Trump says summit with Kim might be back on. https://t.co/huXszgSH4t
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) May 25, 2018
“We’ll see what happens,” the president said. “It could even be the 12th. We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. We’ll see what happens.”