Trump:
'Meeting with Kim Jong Un off - but hopefully not permanently'

Watch: President nixes much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader, but leaves door open for future summit.

David Rosenberg, | updated: 19:23

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

President Donald Trump has cancelled a much-anticipated meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, citing the Pyongyang government’s “open hostility” towards the US in recent statements.

The two leaders had been scheduled to make the historic meeting at a summit on June 12th in Singapore.

On Thursday, President Trump sent a letter to the North Korean leader, writing him that he had decided the meeting would be “inappropriate”, given the rogue state’s recent comments.

“We greatly appreciate your time, patience and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties,” Trump wrote.

“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.”

“You talk about 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. Someday, 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.”

“If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.”

Trump's letter

Hours after the letter was released to the press, President Trump said in an address that he remained open to the idea of meeting with the North Korean leader.

The president even suggested that despite his letter Thursday cancelling the meeting, the June 12th summit could end up taking place as scheduled.

“Hopefully everything is going to work out well with North Korea,” said Trump. “A lot of things can happen. Including the fact that, perhaps, it's possible the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date."

Unless and until any serious negotiations take place, however, Trump said that the “very strong sanctions” imposed on Pyongyang would remain unchanged, saying the US was “waiting” for North Korea to ‘choose’ engagement and constructive dialogue with the US.

"All of the Korean people, North and South, deserve to be able to live together in harmony, prosperity and peace. That bright and beautiful future can only happen when the threat of nuclear weapons is removed. No way it can happen otherwise. If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting. In the meantime, our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest sanctions ever imposed, and maximum pressure campaign will continue as it has been continuing."

The president’s letter to Kim Jong Un was released a day after Trump hinted that the June 12th summit could be delayed.

"It may not work out for June 12," the president said at a White House meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "If it does not happen, maybe it will happen later."

"There are certain conditions we want to happen. I think we'll get those conditions. And if we don't, we won't have the meeting. You never know about deals," Trump continued. "I've made a lot of deals. You never really know."

North Korea last week said that the summit between Trump and Kim is at risk because of joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

An official in Pyongyang also stated that the summit was in jeopardy because Kim was angered by national security adviser John Bolton's suggestion that the Trump administration could use a “Libya model” with North Korea.

“If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit,” North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said.

Pyongyang also canceled at the last minute a high-level meeting with the South in protest over joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.








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