President Donald Trump speaks at the White House after cancelling the summit with North Korea. Screenshot photo.
President Donald Trump Thursday cancelled the planned summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, pointing to North Korean “anger and open hostility” in a letter released by the White House.
As the New York Times reported from Seoul, North Korea said it would have second thoughts about the summit if US officials continued what it considered threats against North Korean leaders, and Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui called remarks by Vice President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid.”
“Sadly,” Trump wrote in his letter to Kim, “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”
“Therefore, 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.”
Saying he thought “a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me” and that, ultimately “it is only that dialogue that matters,” he said, “Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” adding that he thanked Kim for the recent release of hostages. “That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.”
“If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit,” Trump continued, “please do not hesitate to call me or write,” adding that the missed opportunity for “lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth” is “a truly sad moment in history.”
Trump returned to the subject later in the day during a bill signing, saying, “If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting.”
“In the meantime,” he said, “our very strong sanctions—by far the strongest sanctions ever imposed—and maximum pressure campaign, will continue, as it has been continuing.”