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Trump cancels summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore

May 25,2018
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12 in Singapore in an angry response to the North’s statement warning of a “nuclear showdown.”

“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,” said Trump in a letter released by the White House.

“Therefore, 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.”

The letter clearly conveyed Trump’s anger and frustration over a statement issued hours before in which Pyongyang called Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” and warned of a “nuclear showdown” with the U.S.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Choe Son-hui as calling Vice President Mike Pence "ignorant" and "stupid."

Choe said that she couldn’t suppress “surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks” made by Pence, who told Fox News on Monday that the North might end up like Libya if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un refused to make a deal on giving up his nuclear arsenal.

North Korea “will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them” to hold the June 12 summit, Choe said, adding that it’s up to Washington whether the summit will be held or the two countries kick off a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”

Trump made very clear that he was angered by Choe’s remarks, which led him to pull out of what would have been an historic summit on June 12 in Singapore.

Responding to the North’s warning of a nuclear showdown, Trump wrote, “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.”

But Trump left open the possibility of a later summit with Kim if the North toned down its rhetoric.

And as if talking to a business partner, Trump said, “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you.”

The news of the summit’s collapse was a huge disappointment for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held his own summit with Trump Tuesday at the White House and expressed his conviction that the Pyongyang-Washington summit would be successful. He fulsomely praised Trump for making such a summit possible.

The Blue House had yet to issue a statement on Trump’s pulling out as of 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]



The following is the full text of Trump’s letter pulling out of the June 12 summit.

His Excellency

Kim Jong Un
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Pyongyang

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.

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.

Therefore, 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.

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.

If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.

Sincerely yours,

Donald J. Trump

President of the United States of America




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