White House Cancels North Korea Summit Meeting

A copy of the letter sent to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from President Donald Trump canceling their planned summit in Singapore is photographed in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/J. David Ake

(CN) – President Donald Trump on Thursday cancelled his planned June 12 summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, citing the “tremendous anger and open hostility” of the North Korean leader’s most recent statements regarding the United States.

Trump did not explain what triggered his decision.

The abrupt cancellation of the meeting came after the president suggested on Monday that plans for the meeting might be delayed amid renewed tension with the North Korean government, which last week criticized the U.S. for engaging in joint military exercises with South Korea.

Then came another statement from the North Korean government in which it referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a “political dummy” and said it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.

In a letter to the North Korean leader, Trump says it was his understanding that Un requested the meeting, but given the rhetoric emanating from Pyongyang in recent days “I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”

“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,” the president says.

He then adds a veiled threat. “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.”

“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters,” Trump says. “Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.”

The president closes by telling Un to not hesitate “to call me or write” if he decides he wants to move forward with the summit.

“The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth,” Trump says.

In the wake of the White House releasing the president’s letter, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that  North Korea had not responded to repeated requests from U.S. officials to discuss logistics for the now-canceled summit.

“We had received no response to our inquiries from them,” Pompeo said.

He went on to tell the committee North Korea’s attitude changed markedly since he returned from a trip to Pyongyang earlier this month, when he met with Kim and secured the release of three American prisoners being held there.

 

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