Officials described a high-stakes scramble, with an uncertain ending, as Trump presses his advisers to move ahead with the goal of meeting on June 12
, despite concerns among top national security staff there isn't enough time to prepare. The President has publicly discarded those worries and sent signals he is intent on carrying out the talks he himself canceled only four days ago.
Across Asia, administration officials have been dispatched to carry out Trump's directive. On Monday, White House aides were awaiting word from a US team of negotiators posted along the Korean Demilitarized Zone for talks with officials from North Korea. Three thousand miles away in Singapore, a team of US logistics officials arrived late Monday
and was expecting the arrival of a corresponding team from Pyongyang.
The last time the two sides were scheduled to meet, the North Koreans never materialized and Trump scrapped the summit. Aides are cautiously optimistic this time will be different, even as they continue to express private misgivings about the compressed timeline to arrange the meeting.
The results of this week's parallel talks are likely to dictate whether the June 12 summit between Trump and Kim is possible, according to a US official familiar with the ongoing deliberations. The teams, led by seasoned American officials, hope to determine what Kim is willing to agree to should he meet with Trump next month.
Higher-level talks could also occur before the summit, the official said, including further discussions between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top North Korean officials, including possibly Kim.