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Published: 2018-05-25 11:14:26 | Updated: 2018-05-25 11:14:26

Trump cancels North Korea nuclear summit

Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, blaming his decision on a threatening statement from the Pyongyang regime. In a formal letter to Kim released by the White House, Trump said he had been “very much looking forward” to the summit in Singapore on 12 June. But he wrote: “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.” Trump declared that the meeting would not take place “for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” The president’s change of mind appeared to have been sudden and recent. In an interview recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday morning on Fox News, Trump had offered a concession to North Korea, saying he could accept a phased disarmament, contradicting his own top foreign policy officials. The about-face followed a strongly worded statement by North Korea’s vice-foreign minister Choe Son-hui, which in turn was a response to hardline comments by US vice-president Mike Pence. In her statement, Choe warned that Pyongyang could make the US “taste an appalling tragedy”. If the talks are cancelled, Choe suggested the two countries could engage in a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown”. She said: “Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision … of the US. We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.” In his letter, Trump thanked Kim for releasing three US citizens last month. He said: “That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.” He left the door open to a future meeting if and when the war of words calmed down. “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,” he wrote in a letter that appeared to have been directly dictated by Trump, reflecting his speaking style, without corrections to syntax and grammar. “If you change your mind having to do with this 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.” The immediate trigger for the row that erupted between Washington and Pyongyang and derailed the summit was the Trump administration’s repeated references to the “Libyan model”, which was presented by some officials as referring to Muammar Gaddafi’s 2003 agreement to abandon his nuclear weapons programme and surrender related equipment and materials to the US. Trump and Pence, however, used the phrase to refer to the 2011 toppling of Gaddafi and his subsequent murder at the hands of rebels after a Nato-back insurrection. On Monday, Pence echoed the president when he said on Monday: “This will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.” This triggered Choe’s statement on Thursday, dismissing Pence’s remarks as “stupid” and issuing reciprocal threats. [i]Source: The Guardian[/i]

Trump cancels North Korea nuclear summit

Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, blaming his decision on a threatening statement from the Pyongyang regime. In a formal letter to Kim released by the White House, Trump said he had been “very much looking forward” to the summit in Singapore on 12 June. But he wrote: “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.” Trump declared that the meeting would not take place “for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” The president’s change of mind appeared to have been sudden and recent. In an interview recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday morning on Fox News, Trump had offered a concession to North Korea, saying he could accept a phased disarmament, contradicting his own top foreign policy officials. The about-face followed a strongly worded statement by North Korea’s vice-foreign minister Choe Son-hui, which in turn was a response to hardline comments by US vice-president Mike Pence. In her statement, Choe warned that Pyongyang could make the US “taste an appalling tragedy”. If the talks are cancelled, Choe suggested the two countries could engage in a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown”. She said: “Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision … of the US. We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.” In his letter, Trump thanked Kim for releasing three US citizens last month. He said: “That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.” He left the door open to a future meeting if and when the war of words calmed down. “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,” he wrote in a letter that appeared to have been directly dictated by Trump, reflecting his speaking style, without corrections to syntax and grammar. “If you change your mind having to do with this 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.” The immediate trigger for the row that erupted between Washington and Pyongyang and derailed the summit was the Trump administration’s repeated references to the “Libyan model”, which was presented by some officials as referring to Muammar Gaddafi’s 2003 agreement to abandon his nuclear weapons programme and surrender related equipment and materials to the US. Trump and Pence, however, used the phrase to refer to the 2011 toppling of Gaddafi and his subsequent murder at the hands of rebels after a Nato-back insurrection. On Monday, Pence echoed the president when he said on Monday: “This will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.” This triggered Choe’s statement on Thursday, dismissing Pence’s remarks as “stupid” and issuing reciprocal threats. [i]Source: The Guardian[/i]
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