U.S. President Donald Trump is canceling the much anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In a letter published online, Trump cited “tremendous anger and open hostility” from official North Korean statements for the decision.
“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 said in his letter addressed directly to Kim.
Trump may have been referring to comments from officials like Choe Son Hui, who slammed Vice President Mike Pence for comments on Libya and North Korea.
Choe had also suggested the United States should engage in better conduct.
“Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room, or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” Choe had said.
In his letter, Trump said, “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.
“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.”
The president did leave the door open for further talks on a rescheduled summit, when North Korea is willing to deal with Washington on better terms.
“If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write,” he wrote. “North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.”
Trump’s surprise announcement comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he was “very hopeful” the summit would go ahead on June 12.
“I can tell you what it is that President Trump has instructed me to do with respect to how we are going to proceed against North Korea,” Pompeo said. “We are not going to do trade for trade. We are not going to let this drag out. We are not going to provide economic relief until some time as we have an irreversible set of actions — not words, not commitments — undertaken by the North Korean regime.”
By Elizabeth Shim