WASHINGTON. U.S. President Donald Trump canceled his planned meeting in Singapore with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s top leader Kim Jong Un, saying it is “a setback” for the world and the DPRK.
In response, the DPRK said it is ready to sit down with the United States for talks anytime.
Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Trump said his determination to cancel the meeting, slated for June 12 in Singapore, is “a tremendous setback” for the world, including the DPRK.
“All of the Korean people … 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,” Trump said.
“No way it can happen otherwise,” he said, adding the U.S. military “is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world, and has been greatly enhanced recently … is ready if necessary.”
The White House added that the U.S. maximum pressure campaign against the DPRK, including sanctions, will continue. In response to the U.S. cancellation of the meeting, the DPRK said Friday that it is ready to sit down for talks with Washington anytime to solve problems between them.
The DPRK expressed regret over Trump’s decision, First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan was quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency as saying.
The DPRK official also said that Trump’s decision does not conform to the international community’s aspiration for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the whole world.
Also at the White House, Trump said that he has spoken with South Korea and Japan. “They are not only ready, should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea (the DPRK), but they are willing to shoulder much of the cost of any financial burden, any of the costs associated, by the United States in operations, if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us,” said Trump.
Despite all the rhetoric, the U.S. president hinted that he could meet with Kim someday in the future, saying he “is waiting” if and when Kim Jong Un “chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions.”
“Hopefully, positive things will be taking place with respect to the future of North Korea,” he said. “We’d wait — it’s possible that the existing summit could take place, or a summit at some later date. Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right,” he added.
Trump earlier Thursday sent a letter to Kim to cancel their planned meeting in Singapore, saying that it was “inappropriate” at this time to have this meeting “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in the DPRK’s most recent statements.
The letter came on the heels of the escalating exchanges of accusations between the two sides over the Trump administration’s provocative statements against the DPRK and its joint drills with South Korea.
Trump’s cancellation of the summit also came after Pyongyang demolished the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site, where all of its six nuclear tests were conducted, earlier in the day.
In response to Trump’s decision, South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his deep regret. “It is embarrassing and very regrettable for the scheduled North Korea-U.S. summit not to be held on June 12,” Moon said, adding that the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization and the building of permanent peace are historic tasks that cannot be delayed nor be given up.
Singapore also expressed regret over the cancellation. Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Singapore hopes that the dialogue and efforts to find lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula will continue.Enditem