UNITED STATES President Donald Trump has notified North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un that he has cancelled their highly anticipated summit in light of “open hostility” towards his administration, following comments that threatened nuclear war and referred to Vice President Mike Pence as “ignorant and stupid”.
In a letter dated Thursday and posted to the Trump’s Twitter account, the president said that the US appreciated Kim’s “time, patience and effort” in negotiations to arrange the summit but that he was regretfully cancelling the summit previously scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
“I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, 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.”
The shock decision comes after the North’s KCNA news agency published an article by senior official Choe Son-hui in which she wrote the US risked “nuclear showdown” and that “I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice-president.”
“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters,” continued Trump’s letter on Thursday.
Sadly, I was forced to cancel the Summit Meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong Un. pic.twitter.com/rLwXxBxFKx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018
“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,” the president said, adding that Kim should “not hesitate to call me or write”.
“This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history,” Trump added.
In a later statement at the White House, Trump said he had spoken to Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and warned North Korea against any “reckless act,” saying, “Our military is the most powerful in the world.”
He said South Korea and Japan were also ready to shoulder much of the financial burden “if an unfortunate situation is forced upon us” by North Korea. Two hours after releasing his letter to Kim, Trump said the summit could be held later.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed deep regret on Thursday over US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing the Blue House executive office.
“I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-US summit will not be held on June 12 when it was scheduled to be held,” Moon was quoted as saying at a meeting with his top security officials.
Yonhap said Moon urged direct talks between Trump and Kim and said denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula should not be delayed by the decision to call off the summit.
Additional reporting from Reuters.