The US President Donald Trump has cancel the much anticipated meeting with the North Korean President Kim Jong Un which was scheduled for June 12 next month, due to the tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent North Korean statement.
He announced this in a letter to Kim released by the White House Thursday morning, Cancelling plans for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit. The Summit, which is aimed to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons and would have been the first time a sitting US president, will be meting a North Korean leader”
Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote to Kim. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
A White House official said a North Korean official’s condemnation of US Vice President Mike Pence as a “political dummy” was “the last straw” that led to cancelling the summit.
You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” he added.
But he called the meeting a “missed opportunity”, saying “someday, I look very much forward to meeting you”.
In a later statement at the White House, Mr Trump said the step was a “tremendous setback for North Korea and the world”, adding the US military was “ready if necessary” to respond to any “reckless” act from North Korea.
Trump said the military “is ready if necessary” to respond to any provocation by North Korea in the wake of the cancellation.
“I’ve spoken to (Defence Secretary) General Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world that has been greatly enhanced recently, as you all know, is ready if necessary,” he said.
Trump also said he has consulted with allies Japan and South Korea, which he said are both prepared should Kim commit a “reckless or foolish act.” Trump called the cancellation a “tremendous setback” for peace and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The president did leave the door open for further talks on a rescheduled summit, when North Korea is willing to deal with Washington on better terms.
“If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write,” he wrote. “North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.”
South Korea’s presidential Blue House appeared taken off guard by Trump’s letter and an official said it was “trying to figure out what President Trump exactly meant.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in had met with Trump at the White House on Tuesday to urge him to follow through on the summit and not let a rare opportunity with reclusive North Korea slip away.
A few hours before Trump announced the cancellation, a small group of international media selected by North Korea witnessed the demolition of tunnels at the Punggye-ri site on Thursday, which Pyongyang said was proof of its commitment to end nuclear testing.
Cancellation of the summit denies Trump what supporters hoped could have been the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency, and one worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.