Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Trump suggests Kim summit could still take place as scheduled

Trump suggests Kim summit could still take place as scheduled

On Friday, a visibly shocked Moon had said he regretted the summit's cancellation and urged direct talks between the United States and North Korean leaders, instead of relying on current communication channels which he said were ineffective in dealing with the sensitive issues that needed to be overcome. Global journalists were present, but the US government can't verify the site's destruction.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's decision "unexpected" and "very regrettable", and said the cancellation of the talks shows "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-US relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties". "And if they are ready to do that then ... we're certainly ready to have those conversations", she said.

After that, however, a senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises ahead of the summit.

Mr Trump welcomed the North's conciliatory response to his Thursday letter withdrawing from the Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un.

Trump scrapped the meeting, planned for Singapore, in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials demanding unilateral disarmament.

Just before Trump announced the cancellation of the meeting, North Korea declared it had completely dismantled its nuclear test site in the country's far northeast, in a carefully choreographed goodwill gesture.

And Mr Trump added: "Everybody plays games". He said Washington's perspective of the North makes it very hard to reach a negotiated settlement.

At the same time, it also was increasingly clear that the administration's goal of "total denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula was interpreted differently in North Korea, which analysts say is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear capabilities and especially not in short order, as the US has demanded.

But he said talks could still go ahead "at a later date".

This latest statement by Choe seems to have been the final straw that pushed the White House to cancel the meeting. Here is where Trump must avoid a clear trap by Kim, as he is likely to demand the meeting be held in North Korea-the optics proving he has defeated his imperialist enemy for good. But they would have focused on ways of denuclearising the Korean peninsula and reducing tensions. "We'll see what happens".

The senior USA official said the North violated a pledge to allow global inspectors to monitor the supposed implosion of the test site.

North Korea responded in kind, with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan saying that his country still wanted to pursue peace and said it would give Washington time to reconsider talks.

"There is no reason why we should fight each other - we are one nation", Kim said in a joint statement with Moon after that meeting.

In a letter released by the White House on Thursday, Trump said, "I was very much looking forward to being there with you". Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi was executed following a Nato-backed uprising less than eight years after surrendering his nascent weapons program.

In a separate statement at the White House, Mr Trump said the step was a "tremendous setback for North Korea and the world", adding the U.S. military was "ready if necessary" to respond to any "reckless" act from North Korea.

Pyongyang reportedly promised to meet Trump administration officials in Singapore last week to discuss logistics for June 12, but the North Koreans never showed.

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