'Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, blaming his decision on a threatening statement from the Pyongyang regime.
In a formal letter to Kim released by the White House, Trump said he had been “very much looking forward” to the summit in Singapore on 12 June.
But he wrote: “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.”
Trump declared that the meeting would not take place “for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world.
“You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”
Trump cancels nuclear summit, just as North Korea makes a show of apparently destroying its testing facility. "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..." pic.twitter.com/w2jzLWPHOH
— Joel Gunter (@joelmgunter) May 24, 2018
The president’s change of mind appeared to have been sudden and recent. In an interview recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday morning on Fox News, Trump had offered a concession to North Korea, saying he could accept a phased disarmament, contradicting his own top foreign policy officials.
Read more: Donald Trump cancels North Korea nuclear summit
‘Our military is ready, so are Japan’s and South Korea’s’ – Trump on North Korea situation
After cancelling a long-awaited summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump reverted to his earlier rhetoric, saying that the US military is “more ready than...ever before,” Kim does something 'foolish.'
Delivering remarks on the cancellation Thursday, Trump chose to spend much of his time touting his military strength.
“Our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world,” he said, “is ready if necessary,” should Kim react badly to the cancellation. Trump also announced that South Korea and Japan were onboard and ready to shoulder some of the cost of military operations, should the need arise.
Trump called the latest development "setback," yet he expressed hope for the positive outcome. In his usual manner, he said that that the summit still may happen.
“If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialog, I am waiting,” said Trump. Failing that, he warned Kim against “foolish and reckless” acts.
The cancellation came hours after Pyongyang dismantled its nuclear test site as promised.
A summit between the two leader had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. Preparations had been underway since March, but Trump cancelled the meeting on Thursday, blaming Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” for scuppering the talks.
Days earlier, North Korean Vice Minister Choe Son-hui had threatened to walk away from discussions if Washington continued to carry out its "unlawful and outrageous acts," including joint military exercises with South Korea.'
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