The US-North Korea summit falls victim to bipolar rhetoric

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionTrump

In the letter, Trump wrote that, based on the North's recent statement, he felt it was "inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting".

The threat drew predictable outrage from North Korea - which Trump presented as the reason for aborting for the summit.

"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 behaviour of the United States", she said.

In a letter to Kim, Trump announced he would not go ahead with the high-stakes meeting set for June 12 in Singapore, and would instead pursue Washington's campaign of "maximum pressure" through sanctions on Pyongyang.

We also need to look at the weird events of the last few months from the other end of the telescope. Some of the report's key takeaways: North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons has been deliberate, determined, and patient; United States diplomacy since 2000 has been sporadic, reactive, and often motivated by a desire to avoid instead of manage risk; no one has agreed on what exactly "denuclearization" means; North Korea has NOT "cheated on every agreement;" and as bad as things were in 2017, the situation could get worse. And "Kim Jong Un wants to do what's right", adding, "I really believe that".

He said it was possible a meeting could still take place but warned North Korea against committing "foolish" acts.

"Our military, which is, by far, the most powerful anywhere in the world and has been greatly enhanced recently as you all know - is ready if necessary", Mr Trump said, after making the announcement. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says North Korea did not respond to repeated requests from US officials to discuss logistics for the now-canceled summit.

Pompeo read out Trump's letters to legislators in Washington shortly after it was released publicly.

"It's clear he didn't know what he was getting into", she said of the USA leader.

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Pompeo- US was ready but North Korea had gone silent on preparations
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Pompeo- US was ready but North Korea had gone silent on preparations

He insisted Trump had been prepared for the summit.

"We can expect North Korea will condemn the decision in strong terms and cast blame on the United States for throwing away a good thing through its actions", said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues.

"The dismantling of the nuclear test ground conducted with high-level transparency has clearly attested once again to the proactive and peace-loving efforts of the [North Korean] government being made for assuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the world", the North's official news agency reported late Thursday. "I wish the leaders would have a more direct and closer conversation to deal with it".

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in Washington on Wednesday, had earlier urged the U.S. to attend the summit, saying "if you want peace, now is the time" at a joint press conference with Pompeo.

The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who met Kim face-to-face on two occasions, alternated between insistence on this all-in-one option and a more phased approach.

North Korea said the demolition of the facility did not cause any leakage of radioactive materials or have any "adverse impact on the surrounding ecological environment".

Pompeo said the USA had tried in recent days to put teams together to prepare for the meeting and "we had received no response to our inquiries from" the North Korean government.

In both cases, Pyongyang was trying to push back against hard-line comments suggesting North Korea may end up like Libya if it doesn't move forward quickly and irreversibly with concrete measures to get rid of its nuclear weapons. Moon held an historic meeting with Kim last month, where the two Koreas signed a declaration that they would seek a peace treaty this year and work towards denuclearisation.

Singapore, which was to host the summit, also expressed regret it wouldn't take place and said it hoped dialogue would continue.


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