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White House pre-advance team still headed to Singapore in case June 12 Trump-Kim summit occurs

President Donald Trump crosses the South Lawn after arriving at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 5, 2018. (Zach Gibson/Sipa USA/TNS)
May 26, 2018

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Saturday morning that the White House pre-advance team is still headed to Singapore in case a Trump-Kim summit still happens.

Sanders told reporters that, “The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place.”

This comes a day after President Trump tweeted that ongoing talks are productive about reinstating the Summit.

President Trump canceled the June 12 summit after North Korea refused to respond to the US over planning details and when North Korea itself threatened to cancel the summit and accused America of conducting “evil acts.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that a President Trump canceled his planned June 12 summit with North Korea because Pyongyang stopped communicating with the U.S. and did not show up to a planned preparation meeting.

“Over the past many days, we have endeavored to do what Chairman Kim and I had agreed, which was to put teams, preparation teams together to begin to work to prepare for the summit, and we have received no response to our inquiries from them,” Pompeo said while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

A senior White House official said Thursday that North Korea agreed to send delegates to Singapore to discuss the details of the meeting.

“They simply stood us up,” the official said testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

North Korea released a statement Thursday calling Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” for mentioning that a military option with North Korea was still a possibility.

“Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in a letter to North Korea on Thursday, canceling the June 12 summit.

Pompeo said the U.S. is fully prepared for a meeting.

“I think we’re rocking. I think we’re ready. I think we’re prepared for this meeting. I think President Trump [is] prepared for this meeting. We were fully, fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said he laid out the U.S. demands to Kim Jong Un during a prior meeting with the North Korean dictator.

“When I heard back from him, there was little doubt in my mind that he understood the scope of what we were asking for or the nature of what would have to take place, the verification that we would need to take in order to be comfortable that we could begin to deliver the assurances he, in return, asked for,” Pompeo said. “And so I think we were having a real conversation where there was real understanding between the two of us. It’s what caused me to recommend to the President that I thought the time would, in fact, permit us to have a real opportunity to do something historic.”