President Donald Trump announced Thursday morning that his highly anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been canceled.
The president pointed to Kim’s “hostility” displayed in the past month as the reason why going forward with the summit would be “inappropriate.”
Earlier this month, Kim had threatened to pull out of the meeting with Trump set to be held in Singapore on June 12 and also abruptly canceled a meeting with South Korea.
In a letter to Kim on Thursday, Trump called the canceled talks a “missed opportunity” and “a truly sad moment in history.”
“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 wrote. “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.”
Leading up to Trump’s decision, North Korean officials had been threatening to not go through with the summit.
On Thursday, Vice Minister of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, Choe Son Hui, said that 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,” according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
Choe also made a disparaging comment about Vice President Mike Pence who had said that North Korea asked to have the meeting.
“As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice president,” Choe reportedly said.
According to Fox News, Trump officials said the threat of nuclear war, not the insult to Pence, was the reason for the summit pullout.
“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” Trump wrote in his letter to Kim.
“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.”
On Monday, Pence noted in an interview with Fox News that unlike former presidential administrations, Trump will not be “played” by North Korea.
“Truthfully, the Clinton administration, even the Bush administration got played in the past,” Pence said. “It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump.”
Pence also made clear that Trump was completely willing to walk away from the negotiating table if North Korea backs away from its promises.
“There’s no question,” he said.
When asked whether Trump was concerned about the possible embarrassment that could result if this process with North Korea fails after so much progress, Pence replied, “I don’t think President Trump is thinking about public relations. He’s thinking about peace.”
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