Trump cancels nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ... I had somewhat a vague expectation for US~North Korea possible denuclearization summit to take place in Singapore early next month but....as expected Kim Jong Un under the guidance of Xi Jinpin playing
with Trump apparently...
President Trump on Thursday canceled a planned summit next month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, citing “tremendous anger and open hostility” from the rogue nation in a letter explaining his abrupt decision.
“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump said to Kim in a letter released by the White House on Thursday morning.
Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post The summit — which had the potential to be a major diplomatic victory for Trump — had been planned for June 12 in Singapore.
South Korea’s government seemed blindsided by Trump’s announcement.
“We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means,” said government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.
Shortly before midnight in Seoul, South Korea’s president called an emergency meeting to discuss Trump’s decision, summoning his chief of staff, national security adviser, foreign minister, unification minister and intelligence chief to the presidential Blue House.
In his letter, Trump held open the possibility that the two leaders could meet at a later date to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, which Trump has been pushing.
Read President Trump’s letterhttps://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4483000 ... celed.html
The decision came amid hostile warnings from North Korea in recent days that it was reconsidering participation, including a statement that the United States must decide whether to “meet us in a meeting room or encounter us at [a] nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”
A close aide to Kim unleashed a torrent of invective against the Trump administration Thursday morning, calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” for remarks he made Monday in a television interview that made reference to the downfall of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
North Korea has bristled at Trump administration suggestions that it follow the “Libyan model” to abandon its nuclear efforts. Gaddafi was killed in 2011 during anti-government chaos.
“I was very much looking forward to being there with you,” Trump said in his letter to Kim. “The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.”
White House aides had grown concerned because North Korea had not responded to planning requests on the summit and had canceled a logistics meeting, said a senior White House official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the sensitive issue.
Many details needed to be settled within days for the summit to happen, this official said, adding that the White House did not want an embarrassing situation of “losing the upper hand.”
U.S. officials had begun signaling to other countries late last week that the summit could be postponed, and they appeared concerned that the meeting would not yield a clear result, said a foreign diplomat familiar with preparations.
A former senior U.S. official familiar with aspects of the planning said the two sides had not yet agreed on a draft communique, the usually bland statement issued at the close of diplomatic summits. The statement is typically worked out far in advance, and the absence of that draft had been a red flag to diplomats over the past week, the official said.
The dramatic announcement immediately reverberated on Capitol Hill. At the outset of a budget hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo read Trump’s letter.
In reaction to the cancelled summit, Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on the committee, admonished the Trump administration for a “lack of deep preparation.”
“It’s pretty amazing that the administration might be shocked that North Korea is acting as North Korea might normally act,” he said.
Menendez also questioned why U.S. officials repeatedly raised the prospect of the “Libya model” as a roadmap for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“I’m not sure that constantly quoting the Libya model is the diplomatic way to try to get to the results that we try to seek in North Korea,” he said.
Pompeo objected to Menendez’s characterization of a lack of planning, saying the U.S. negotiation team was “fully prepared.”
“We were fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting,” he said.
In explaining the summit’s demise, Pompeo noted that in recent days, there was a breakdown in communication between the U.S. and North Korean preparation teams. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that North Koreans missed a scheduled meeting in Singapore last week between the preparation teams.
Pompeo said he hopes to restart conversations with the North Koreans and get the talks “back on track.” He expressed hope that Congress and the executive branch would work together to ramp up economic pressure on the isolated regime.
Trump had his “eyes wide open throughout the process,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). “He made the right choice” because Kim walked away from his commitment to denuclearize, Gardner said.
In a statement after Trump’s announcement, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said it was important for the United States to maintain pressure on North Korea through economic sanctions.
“We must continue to work with our allies toward a peaceful resolution, but that will require a much greater degree of seriousness from the Kim regime,” Ryan said. “At the same time, Congress has provided significant tools to hold North Korea accountable, and it is important that the United States not relent in this maximum pressure campaign.”
Even amid the heightened rhetoric, there were signs Thursday that North Korea continued to be interested in a summit.
North Korea claimed to have destroyed its nuclear testing site Thursday, setting off a series of explosions to collapse a network of underground tunnels where it had detonated six increasingly large bombs over 11 years.
The North set off a series of made-for-TV blasts that were reported by journalists brought to the site. But the Kim regime did not allow any experts to observe the events, making it difficult to assess what exactly they had done. Most analysts remain highly doubtful that North Korea is actually prepared to give up its nuclear program.
RELATED: North Korea declares its nuclear test site disabled hours before Trump cancels summit
In his letter, Trump also referenced what was widely interpreted at the time as another positive gesture from Kim: the release of three American prisoners into the custody of Pompeo during his visit to North Korea earlier this month.
“Someday, I look very much forward to meeting you,” Trump wrote. “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.”
As recently as Wednesday, Trump did not tip his hand that he intended to cancel the meeting with Kim.
During a television interview that was taped Wednesday and aired Thursday morning, he said he might accept a “phase-in” of North Korea’s denuclearization.
“We’re going to see. I’d like to have it done immediately,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends” on Fox News. “But, you know, physically, a phase-in may be a little bit necessary, we will have to do a rapid phase-in, but I’d like to see it done at one time.”
Trump had sounded cautionary notes about the prospect that the summit would be delayed or canceled. But he had also heralded the possibility for it leading to lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and embraced suggestions — made by South Korea President Moon Jae In and others — that he would be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Asked about that prospect by a reporter just two weeks ago, Trump responded: “Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it.”