President Donald Trump's chaotic brand of internation diplomacy was back on display Friday afternoon as he announced—following an Oval Office meeting with a high-ranking North Korean official—that a summit he cancelled earlier this month between the two countries is now back on track.
"We'll be meeting June 12 in Singapore. You people will have to be in Singapore," Trump told reporters at the White House after emerging from a more than hour-long meeting with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol, a chief negotiator and top aide to the nation's leader Kim Jong-Un.
President Trump on the US-North Korea summit: “Well be meeting on June 12 in Singapore” https://t.co/Er9B3WdDTM— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 1, 2018
The North Korean diplomat, who had previously met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other State Department officials on Thursday, and during Friday's meeting at the White House hand-delivered a letter from Kim that was addressed to Trump.
But Trump said some very strange things, in fact, about the letter from Kim during his interaction with the reporters.
At first Trump described the letter as "very interesting" and asked how much anyone in the scrum might offer to pay to see its contents:
President Trump says the letter from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is “a very interesting letter” https://t.co/bybhmqE0Pv— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 1, 2018
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But just minutes later he very clearly admits to the same group of reporters that he has not even opened the letter yet:
President Trump on letter from Kim Jong Un: "I haven't seen the letter yet. I purposely didn't open the letter. I haven't opened it. I didn't open it in front of the director." #NorthKorea pic.twitter.com/zgri9lGuBZ— CSPAN (@cspan) June 1, 2018
As astute observers pointed out:
Despite Trump's ongoing and bizarre behavior when it comes to diplomacy with North Korea, anti-war voices and experts on the Korean peninsula voiced support for the announcement that the talks appeared to be back on track.
This is the best news of the day perhaps. President seems to be ok with stage-by-stage process. It won’t result in disarmament but a lot of good can still happen. https://t.co/DkoPr7ToMh— Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) June 1, 2018