Trump, Moon try to keep summit on track amid doubts

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump labored with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U.S. summit with North Korea on track after Trump abruptly cast doubt that the June 12 meeting would come off. Setting the stakes sky high, Moon said, “The fate and the future of the Korean Peninsula hinge” on the meeting.

The summit, planned for Singapore, offers a historic chance for peace on the peninsula — but also the risk of an epic diplomatic failure that would allow the North to revive and advance its nuclear weapons program.

Trump’s newfound hesitation appeared to reflect recent setbacks in efforts to bring reconciliation between the two Koreas, as well as concern whether Trump can deliver a nuclear accord with the North’s Kim Jong Un.

In an extraordinary public airing of growing uncertainty, Trump said “there’s a very substantial chance” the meeting won’t happen as scheduled.

Seated in the Oval Office with Moon, Trump said Kim had not met unspecified “conditions” for the summit. However, the president also said he believed Kim was “serious” about negotiations, and Moon expressed “every confidence” in Trump’s ability to hold the summit and bring about peace.

“I have no doubt that you will be able to … accomplish a historic feat that no one had been able to achieve in the decades past,” Moon said.

U.S. officials said preparations for the summit still were under way.