Reuters in its report stated that after meeting a senior official from Pyongyang at the White HouseÂ on Friday, Trump said North Korea was being more cooperative and that although sanctions would remain in place, he would hold off on imposing new ones.
Trump said he didnâ€™t want to use the term â€œmaximum pressureâ€ any more, because the two sides were â€œgetting along.â€
Asked at a news briefingÂ on MondayÂ whether the â€œmaximum pressureâ€ campaign would continue, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters: â€œWe have sanctions on, they are very powerful and we would not take those sanctions off unless North Korea denuclearized.â€
The Trump administration has credited its â€œmaximum pressureâ€ campaign, supported by the United Nations and major world powers, for helping bring North Korea to the table to negotiate giving up its nuclear weapons.
Sanders said preparations for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were going well, and the two are tentatively scheduled to meet atÂ 9 a.m.Â Singapore time (1 a.m. GMT) onÂ June 12.
Trump saidÂ on FridayÂ the summit he had cancelled the previous week was back on after he received the North Korean delegation bearing a letter from Kim.
Asked about the contents of Kimâ€™s letter, Sanders declined to â€œget into the specificsâ€ but added â€œwe feel like things are continuing to move forward and good progress has been made.â€
â€œThe president has been receiving daily briefings on North Korea from his national security team,â€ she added.
Top Senate DemocratsÂ on MondayÂ told Trump not to make a deal that leaves North Korea with nuclear weapons, and threatened to maintain or toughen sanctions on Pyongyang if that condition is not met.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and ranking Democrats from national security committees released a letter to Trump laying out demands for any pact, which they said must be permanent.
They also urged him to lean hard on Kimâ€™s ally China to ensure it â€œwill do all it can to help secure an agreement and then insist on strict North Korean compliance with such an agreementâ€.
Easing sanctions under a deal would likely need approval from Congress which has passed sanctions on North Korea. Since most legislation needs 60 votes to pass the 100-member Senate and Trumpâ€™s fellow Republicans hold only 51 seats, that would require Democratic support.