U.S., South Korea to pursue Trump-Kim talks

South Korean Foreign Minister and Pompeo hold phone call, agree to work toward creating conditions for talks with North Korea.

Ben Ariel ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

The foreign ministers of the United States and South Korea agreed on Thursday to continue working toward creating the right conditions for the United States and North Korea to talk, South Korea’s foreign ministry said.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a phone call, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump called off a June summit with North Korea, said the statement quoted by Reuters.

Trump, in announcing the cancellation of the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, cited Pyongyang’s “open hostility” towards the U.S. in recent statements.

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

Earlier on Thursday, a White House official said that North Korea's reaction to comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was the "last straw" that led the White House to cancel the summit.

North Korea's vice foreign minister called remarks by Pence about North Korea stupid and suggested the two countries could either meet for a summit or for a nuclear showdown.

Those comments came after Pence said in an interview with Fox News on Monday that the interaction with North Korea could "end like the Libya Model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal."

The White House official said Thursday that, after the North Korean reaction to those comments, senior administration officials at the highest levels held discussions that eventually led to the cancellation of the summit.

North Korea officially reacted to Trump’s move on Thursday night, saying it was still prepared to go ahead with the talks while adding that Trump's "decision to scrap U.S.-North Korea summit is not in line with the world's wishes."