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White House suddenly says U.S.-North Korea summit is ‘expected' in apparent reversal of Trump's cancellation


President Trump speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

The White House on Monday walked back President Trump's cancellation of an upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un, saying it now expects the high-profile sit-down to happen.

The flip-flop came after Trump spoke on the phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about "recent developments in North Korea," the White House said in a statement. The two leaders confirmed they will sit down in the near future to coordinate "in advance of the expected meeting" with Kim, according to the White House.

Trump stunned U.S. allies last week when he abruptly announced he wouldn't attend the June 12 summit in Singapore, citing "open hostility" from the North Korean regime.

The cancellation came shortly after a North Korean official blasted Vice President Pence as "stupid" and "ignorant" for suggesting the isolated country follow Libya's model and give up all its nuclear weapons.

But less than 24 hours after the withdrawal, Trump started signaling the summit could still happen, tweeting, "we are having productive talks with North Korea."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a performance at the People's Theatre in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a performance at the People's Theatre in Pyongyang. (KCNA/REUTERS)

On Sunday, Trump expressed further hope the meeting will happen.

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself," Trump tweeted. "I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!"

Trump would become the first American President ever to sit down with a North Korean leader if the summit ends up taking place.