Trump Cancels Summit, North Korean Leaders Leave Door Open For Talks

25 May, 2018, 23:27 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • ANALYSISMay 25 2018 12:00pm The Times Why China is wary of a close relationship between US and North Korea Richard Spencer

As Trump pulled out of talks scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, the White House blamed North Korea's ramped-up nuclear rhetoric and unwillingness to meet for pre-summit planning. "They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it".

Trump said, "We're talking to them now". "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", Trump wrote. "We'd like to do it".

Cheshire said: "If you think back to a year ago, when he was a pariah, well, he's had all these meetings where he has become more of an worldwide (figure) than a despot back home, especially that historic meeting in the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea".

North Korea's response moved to place the blame for the failed meeting on the US.

Trump scrapped the meeting, planned for Singapore, in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by USA officials demanding unilateral disarmament. Kim Jong-un has been crafting an image of a responsible statesman against an erratic Trump.

China said the United States and North Korea should show patience, encouraging them to "show goodwill and meet each other halfway".

The Associated Press also reported that North Korea is still willing to sit down with the United States "at any time".

"We have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other USA presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit", North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by state media on Friday.

What were Mr Trump's latest comments?

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters diplomats were "still at work" and said Trump had just sent a note out on the summit, which could be back on "if our diplomats can pull it off".

Still, the Trump administration tried to keep up a positive face, dismissing the shifts as an expected negotiating maneuver by Kim and stressing there had been no official notification from the North of any change to the meeting.

"He wants to get something that's a long-lasting and an actual real solution".

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Narang, an author of two books on nuclear strategy, told VOA News that "one camp may prefer to see if working-level diplomacy can get things back on track, and maybe eventually get to a summit".

Trump aides had warned the president that agreeing to a sit-down with Kim was in itself a concession to the leader of an oppressive government that has longed for worldwide recognition.

He added that North Korea remained open to resolving issues with Washington "regardless of ways, at any time".

At an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said it was necessary to ensure security on the Korean peninsula, which touched on China's core interests.

Singapore said it regretted the cancellation of the summit and Japan said it only wanted a summit where North Korea would commit to denuclearisation.

Robert Kelly, a professor of political science at South Korea's Pusan National University, told CNN earlier this week that "the Trump administration is going into [the summit] very, very quickly".

Some analysts anxious that cancelling the summit could prompt a resumption in hostilities, including renewed shorter-range missile tests or stepped-up cyber attacks by Pyongyang and increased sanctions or deployment of new military assets by Washington.

Trump, in his letter to Kim, objected specifically to a statement from a top North Korean Foreign Ministry official.

A recent survey commissioned by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, however, found that South Koreans were more concerned about air pollution than Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

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