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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

President Trump on Tuesday said that his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un may not go ahead as planned, adding that if the June 12 date does not hold, "maybe it will happen later.”

Why it matters: It wasn’t long ago that Trump and the North Koreans were trading threats of nuclear war. If the summit collapses, relations between the two countries could deteriorate quickly.

The back story: The comments came as South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived at the White House to meet with Trump about the planned summit, which is scheduled for three weeks from today. The buildup to what would be an historic summit sparked speculation about a long-sought breakthrough with North Korea, and even a Nobel Prize for Trump.

Key comments:

  • Seated beside Moon, Trump said "there are certain conditions that we want" ahead of the summit, and if they aren't met the summit won't happen.
  • Trump said "denuclearization must take place" and that he would prefer if it was "all in one" but he wouldn't commit himself to that approach.
  • He also said of Kim "we will guarantee his safety" under the terms of a deal, and that China, South Korea and Japan were all willing to invest big sums of money to "make North Korea great."
  • Trump wouldn't say whether he had spoken to Kim, but said the two sides were in communication. He also said Moon "may or may not" have a separate meeting with Kim.
  • Trump said he believes Kim had a "different attitude" after meeting for the second time with Chinese President Xi Jinping — adding that the U.S. did not know that meeting would be taking place.

Between the lines: Moon is one of the few world leaders to have met face-to-face with Kim Jong-un. On his way to White House, the chief of South Korea's National Security Office said the Trump-Kim summit is almost certain to happen, but they are preparing for every scenario, per Yonhap News.

Context: The meeting follows a surprise move by North Korea last week to cancel a meeting with the South Koreans and threaten to cancel the summit with Trump over joint U.S.-South Korean military drills.

Go deeper: Why Kim threatened to cancel the summit.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.