Trump Optimistic About N. Korea's Response to Canceled Meeting

Photo of Trump Optimistic About N. Korea's Response to Canceled Meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday morning North Korea's response to his calling off a June summit with leader Kim Jong Un is “warm” and “productive.”“Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea,” Trump said in a Twitter post Friday morning. “We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time [and talent] will tell!”North Korea said Friday it is still willing to sit for talks with the United States “at any time, [in] any format.”Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, a longtime nuclear negotiator and senior diplomat, said in a statement carried by state media that the North is “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks.What prompted cancellation Trump canceled the planned summit with Kim on Thursday morning, blaming recent threatening statements by Pyongyang to pull out of the summit over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials.The North Korean diplomat said Pyongyang's recent criticisms had been a reaction to unbridled American rhetoric, and that the current antagonism showed "the urgent necessity" for the summit. "We have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other U.S. presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit," Kim Kye Gwan statement said. "We even inwardly hoped that what is called 'Trump formula' would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue,” he said, without elaborating. In a letter released by the White House on Thursday, Trump said “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 White House said Trump dictated the letter himself.According to a senior administration officials other factors also led the president to cancel the summit, including poor communication, broken promises and the North Korean's failure to show up for a preparatory meeting in Singapore. “We simply couldn’t get them to pick up the phone,” a White House senior official told reporters on Thursday.The last straw, according to the White House, was an insult of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence earlier Thursday in a statement by North Korea’s vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui. She called Pence a “political dummy” and warned — in rhetoric typical of that uttered by Pyongyang — of a nuclear confrontation. In his letter, Trump responded in kind, referencing U.S. nuclear capabilities “so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” Pentagon ready The Pentagon said it is poised for any "provocative actions" by Pyongyang."We are in a boxer stance, we are ready to respond," Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the U.S. military's Joint Staff, told reporters on Thursday. Trump emphasized in his on-camera remarks that sanctions and “the maximum pressure campaign will continue” to be applied on North Korea while expressing hope Pyongyang’s leadership would decide to join the community of nations. Trump’s letter caught allies by surprise. The president did not call South Korean President Moon Jae-in or Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to inform them of it, White House officials confirmed. Moon hastily convened a middle-of-the-night meeting of his top security officials before expressing “deep regret” over the summit’s cancelation, urging direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang and adding that denuclearization of the Korean peninsula should not be delayed.North Korea had threatened to pull out of the unprecedented summit after U.S. officials advocated a so-called Libya model approach, which involved that African country’s total nuclear dismantlement before any concessions were granted.

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