President Donald Trump today warmly welcomed North Korea's promising response to his abrupt withdrawal from the potentially historic Singapore summit and said "we're talking to them now" about putting it back on track.
"Everybody plays games," said Trump, who often boasts about his own negotiating tactics and skill.
The president, commenting as he left the White House for a commencement speech, said it was even possible the summit could take place on the originally planned June 12 date.
"They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it," he said.
Earlier in a tweet, he had called the North's reaction to his letter canceling the summit "warm and productive." That was far different from his letter Thursday to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang for the US withdrawal.
The tone from both sides was warmer overnight. First, North Korea issued a statement saying it was still "willing to give the US time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format."
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's withdrawal "unexpected" and "very regrettable," and said the cancellation of the talks showed "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-US relations is and how urgently a summit should be realised to improve ties."
Then Trump, in his response to that response, said it was "very good news," and "we will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!"