‘SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WALK AWAY’: US, North Korea offer dueling accounts of talks breakdown

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — In open dispute, the U.S. and North Korea offered contradictory accounts Thursday of why the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un broke down, though both pointed to punishing American sanctions as a sticking point in the high-stakes nuclear negotiation.

President Trump, on his way back to Washington on Thursday, said before leaving Hanoi that the talks collapsed because North Korea’s leader insisted that all the sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the North firmly committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

But North Korea challenged that account, insisting it had asked only partial sanctions relief in exchange for shutting down its main nuclear complex. Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho commented on the talks during an abruptly scheduled middle-of-the-night news conference after Trump was in the air.

Ri said the North was also ready to offer in writing a permanent halt of the country’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and Washington had wasted an opportunity that “may not come again.” He said the North’s position won’t change even if the United States offers to resume another round of dialogue.

On Friday, North Korea’s official news agency put a more positive spin on the summit, saying Trump and Kim “had a constructive and candid exchange of their opinions over the practical issues arising in opening up a new era of the improvement” of relations between the two nations.

Trump made no mention of the disagreement as he addressed U.S. troops during a stopover at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, though White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said he was aware of Ri’s comments.

Instead, Trump focused on U.S. military might and offered a broad warning to U.S. enemies.

“America does not seek conflict, but if we are forced to defend ourselves we will fight and we will win in an overwhelming fashion,” he declared.

Earlier on Thursday in Hanoi, Trump had told reporters the North had demanded a full removal of sanctions in exchange for shutting the Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump said that there had been a proposed agreement “ready to be signed.” However, he said after the summit was cut short, “Sometimes you have to walk.”

The demise of the talks came after Trump and Kim had appeared ready to inch toward normalizing relations between their still technically warring nations.

The American leader had dampened expectations that the negotiations would yield an agreement by North Korea to take concrete steps toward ending a nuclear program that Pyongyang likely sees as its strongest security guarantee. However, Kim, when asked whether he was ready to denuclearize, had said, “If I’m not willing to do that I won’t be here right now.”

But hours after both nations had seemed hopeful of a deal of some kind, the two leaders’ motorcades roared away from the downtown Hanoi summit site within minutes of each other, lunch canceled and signing ceremony scuttled. The president’s closing news conference was hurriedly moved up, and he departed for Washington more than two hours ahead of schedule.

The breakdown denied Trump a much-needed triumph amid growing political turmoil back home and the path forward now appears uncertain. Trump insisted his relations with Kim remain warm, but he did not commit to having a third summit with the North Korean leader, saying a possible next meeting “may not be for a long time.”

Ri’s comments reflected the North Koreans’ disappointment, though there was a notable absence of bluster or threats by either side.

Both Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said significant progress had been made in Hanoi, but the two sides appeared to be galaxies apart on an agreement that would live up to stated American goals.

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters.

Kim, he said, appeared willing to close his country’s main nuclear facility, the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, if the sanctions were lifted. But that would leave him with missiles, warheads and weapon systems, Pompeo said. There are also suspected hidden nuclear fuel production sites around the country.

“We couldn’t quite get there today,” Pompeo said, minimizing what seemed to be a chasm between the two sides.

Longstanding U.S. policy has insisted that U.S. sanctions on North Korea would not be lifted until that country committed to, if not concluded, complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. Trump declined to restate that goal Thursday, insisting he wanted flexibility in talks with Kim.

Ri said North Korea proposed that U.S. and North Korean technicians jointly dismantle plutonium, uranium-enrichment and other nuclear material-making facilities at Yongbyon in the presence of U.S. experts.

He said it is “the biggest denuclearization measure that we can take” given the current status of mutual confidence between the two countries.

In return, Ri said North Korea asked the U.S. to lift five kinds of sanctions that are related to its civilian economy and public livelihoods.

The failure in Hanoi laid bare a risk in Trump’s negotiating style. Preferring one-on-one meetings with his foreign counterparts, his administration often eschews the staff-level work usually done in advance to assure a deal.

There was disappointment and alarm in South Korea, whose liberal leader has been a leading orchestrator of the nuclear diplomacy and who needs a breakthrough to restart lucrative engagement projects with the impoverished North. Yonhap news agency said that the clock on the Korean Peninsula’s security situation has “turned back to zero” and diplomacy is now “at a crossroads.”

The two leaders had seemed to find a point of agreement when Kim, who fielded questions from American journalists for the first time, was asked if the U.S. may open a liaison office in North Korea. Trump declared it “not a bad idea,” and Kim called it “welcomable.” Such an office would mark the first official U.S. presence in North Korea and a significant grant to a country that has long been deliberately starved of international recognition.

There had long been skepticism that Kim would be willing to give away the weapons his nation had spent decades developing and Pyongyang felt ensured its survival. But even after the summit ended, Trump praised Kim’s commitment to continue a moratorium on missile testing.

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Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Zeke Miller and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to the contents of this report.

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AP: Trump, Kim share smiles, dinner before nuke talks

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un projected optimism Wednesday as they opened high-stakes talks about curbing Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, a problem that has bedeviled generations of leaders.

The second summit between Trump and Kim came against the backdrop of the American president’s domestic troubles. As the leaders dined on steak and chocolate cake, Trump’s former personal attorney was readying explosive congressional testimony claiming the president is a “conman” who lied abut his business interests with Russia.

The turmoil in Washington has escalated concerns that Trump, eager for an agreement, would give Kim too much and get too little in return. The leaders’ first meeting in June was heavy with historic pageantry but light on any enforceable agreements for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal. Still, both offered optimistic words before dinner.

“A lot of things are going to be solved I hope,” Trump said as dinner began. “I think it will lead to a wonderful, really a wonderful situation long-term.”

Kim said his country had long been “misunderstood” and viewed with “distrust.”

“There have been efforts, whether out of hostility or not, to block the path that we intend to take,” he said. “But we have overcome all these and walked toward each other again and we’ve now reached Hanoi after 261 days” since their first meeting in Singapore.

“We have met again here and I am confident that we can achieve great results that everyone welcomes,” he added.

The leaders’ formal talks continue Thursday. Possible outcomes could include a peace declaration for the Korean War that the North could use to eventually push for the reduction of U.S. troops in South Korea, or sanctions relief that could allow Pyongyang to pursue lucrative economic projects with the South.

Skeptics say such agreements would leave in place a significant portion of North Korea’s nuclear-tipped missiles while robbing the United States of its negotiating leverage going forward.

Asked if this summit would yield a political declaration to end the Korean War, Trump told reporters: “We’ll see.”

Trump’s schedule for Thursday promised a “joint agreement signing ceremony” after their meetings conclude.

The two leaders were joined for dinner by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Kim Yong Chol, a former military spy chief and Kim’s point man in negotiations, and North Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Ri Yong Ho. Interpreters for each side also attended.

Trump did not answer a question from a reporter about his former attorney Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony. Shortly after, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders excluded some U.S. reporters, including the reporter from The Associated Press who asked the president about Cohen, from covering Trump and Kim’s dinner.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the meetings we have limited the pool for the dinner to a smaller group,” she said in a statement.

Still, Trump was unable to ignore the drama playing out thousands of miles away, tweeting that Cohen “did bad things unrelated to Trump” and “is lying in order to reduce his prison time.”

Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close White House ally, said the Cohen hearing was evidence that “Democrats’ hatred of Trump is undercutting an important foreign policy effort and is way out of line.”

Anticipation for what could be accomplished at the summit ran high in Hanoi, and there were cheers and gasps as Trump’s motorcade barreled through this bustling city. Crowds three or four deep lined the streets and jockeyed to capture his procession with their mobile phones.

The carnival-like atmosphere in the Vietnamese capital, with street artists painting likenesses of the leaders and vendors hawking T-shirts showing Kim waving and Trump giving a thumbs-up, contrasted with the serious items on their agenda: North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump has been trying to convince Kim that his nation could thrive economically like the host country, Vietnam, if he would end his nuclear weapons program.

“I think that your country has tremendous economic potential — unbelievable, unlimited,” Trump said. “I think that you will have a tremendous future with your country — a great leader — and I look forward to watching it happen and helping it to happen.”

The summit venue, the colonial and neoclassical Sofitel Legend Metropole in the old part of Hanoi, came with its own dose of history: Trump was trying to talk Kim into giving up his nuclear arsenal at a hotel with a bomb shelter that protected the likes of actress Jane Fonda and singer Joan Baez from American air raids during the Vietnam War.

After their first summit, where Trump and Kim signed a joint statement agreeing to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, the president prematurely declared victory, tweeting that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” The facts did not support that claim.

North Korea has spent decades, at great economic sacrifice, building its nuclear program, and there are doubts that it will give away that program without getting something substantial from the U.S.

The Korean conflict ended in 1953 with an armistice, essentially a cease-fire signed by North Korea, China and the 17-nation, U.S.-led United Nations Command. A peace declaration would amount to a political statement, ostensibly teeing up talks for a formal peace treaty that would involve other nations.

North and South Korea also want U.S. sanctions dialed back so they can resurrect two major symbols of rapprochement that provided $150 million a year to the impoverished North by some estimates: a jointly run factory park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong and South Korean tours to the North’s scenic Diamond Mountain resort.

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AP journalists Hau Dinh and Hyung-jin Kim in Hanoi and Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

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REPORT: North Korea continues construction of nuclear research facility despite promises to denuclearize

PYONGYANG (Fox News) — Despite North Korea’s promise to work toward “complete denuclearization” following the historic summit with Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump earlier this month, new satellite imagery indicates North Korea is making improvements to one of its nuclear scientific research centers at a “rapid pace.”

The images published in a report from 38 North, a website that specializes in analysis of the Rogue Nation, are from June 21 and reveal construction of new buildings and the completion of a plutonium production reactor as well as other support facilities at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Facility.

The center is North Korea’s main research facility, according to Sky News.

“Modifications to North Korea’s 5 MWe reactor’s secondary cooling loop, which began in March, appear externally complete,” according to the report. “A newly in-filled water channel (that includes a newly installed probable weir for controlling water flow) now leads to the pump house from the Kuryong River.”

The operational status of the reactor was not clear.

Although the images appear to show “improvements to infrastructure,” the report said the “continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearize.”

Trump and Kim signed an agreement in Singapore on June 12 stating that Pyongyang would work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Last week, the president underscored the point of “total denuclearization,” while noting that it “has already started taking place,” according to Reuters.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN Monday there is no timeline for when North Korea will denuclearize the peninsula, but said the U.S. is “committed to moving forward in an expeditious moment to see if we can achieve what both leaders set out to do.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met on Wednesday to discuss how to ensure North Korea abandons its nuclear program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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DEMS IN CRISIS: New poll shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un more popular with Americans than Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi

Washington, D.C. — As Democratic leaders struggle to gain ground ahead of the upcoming mid-term elections, poll numbers show Democratic leaders in the worst crisis in decades.

An Ipsos poll conducted for the Daily Beast taken between June 14-15 of responders aged 18 and over shows 19 percent of targeted participants polled indicated they had a favorable view of Kim, while just 17 percent said they had a favorable view of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi’s 29 percent favorable, 47 percent unfavorable rating was slightly better than the numbers for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who scored an overall favorability rating of 20 percent with 43 percent viewing him unfavorable.

The news comes in the wake of a series of scandals that have recently rocked the Democratic National Committee relating to the FBI’s special treatment of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

On Monday, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz were grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Horowitz’s controversial report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email server.

Horowitz’s report, released Thursday, singled out then-FBI Director James Comey for criticism, citing Comey’s alleged special treatment of Clinton who was the subject of criminal investigation.

Most significant, Horowitz found that text messages exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”

The poll was taken just days after a historic meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump in which Kim agreed to the immediate denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, an issue that other administrations had battled with North Korea over for decades.kimandnancy

 

‘TIME TO BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME’: Trump calls for end to military drills on Korean peninsula in wake of successful Singapore summit

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for an immediate end to all military drills on the Korean peninsula following the penning of a historic agreement with North Korea in which North Korean leader Kim Jung- Un agreed to the denuclearization of his region.

“We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should,” Trump said after his meeting with Kim. “But we’ll be saving a tremendous amount of money. Plus, I think it’s very provocative.”

It’s time to “bring our soldiers back home,” he added.

While those hoping for peace worldwide celebrated the president’s comments, South Korean leaders took the news with a certain level of apprehension.

“At this current point, there is a need to discern the exact meaning and intent of President Trump’s comments,” Seoul’s Defense Ministry said, according to the Associated Press.

A spokesperson for U.S. Forces Korea, which oversees approximately 30,000 troops on the Korean Peninsula, said the military unit has not yet received clarification as to when the ongoing exercises will end.

“The USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises — to include this fall’s scheduled Ulchi Freedom Guardian,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Still, as Republicans tout the history-making agreement with Kim, Democrats have been quick to criticize Trump as ‘naive” in his negotiations with the North Korean leader.

“In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Tuesday. “The millions of families currently living in fear of nuclear weapons in the region deserve strong and smart leadership built on diplomacy and engagement with our regional partners and allies.”

“The President’s marginalization of the vast expertise of the State Department and his habitual disparaging of our allies as demonstrated at the G7 Forum hinders a lasting, stable pathway to peace,” Pelosi added.

But an undeterred Trump on Tuesday celebrated the monumental agreement and criticized prior administrations for allowing U.S., North Korea relations to deteriorate to such levels.

“You know, we did sanctions and all the things you would do but I think without the rhetoric,” the president said during an appearance on Sean Hannity. “You know, other administrations, I don’t want to get specific on that, but you know they had a policy of silence.”

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EARLY EXIT: Trump to leave North Korea talks early; Says negotiations have moved ‘more quickly than expected’

SINGAPORE (Associated Press) — In the latest twist in the drama-filled nuclear talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump announced on the eve of their historic meeting that he will be leaving Singapore early because the nuclear negotiations have moved “more quickly than expected.”

That was before the two had even met, and it was not clear whether it was good news or not.

No details were given on any possible progress in preliminary talks between aides at the talks. And the abrupt change in schedule came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had seemed to lower expectations for the meeting, which Trump had earlier predicted could potentially yield an on-the-spot end to the Korean War.

Instead, Pompeo suggested the summit, while historic, might yield little in the way of concrete success other than to pave the way for more meetings in the future.

On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up the pace, with U.S. and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel.

Trump spoke only briefly in public, forecasting a “nice” outcome for the summit during a meeting with Singapore’s prime minister. Kim spent the day mostly out of view — until he left his hotel for a late-night tour of Singapore sights, including the Flower Dome, billed as the world’s biggest glass greenhouse.

Trump’s early departure will be second from a summit in just a few days.

The sudden change in schedule added to a dizzying few days for foreign policy for Trump, who shocked U.S. allies over the weekend when he used a meeting of the Group of 7 industrialized economies in Canada to alienate America’s closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, he lobbed insults at the G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He left early, and as he flew to Singapore, he tweeted that he was yanking the U.S. out of the traditional group statement.

As Trump was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies with his abrasive performance at the G-7. He continued to tweet angrily at Trudeau from Singapore, saying Monday “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal.”

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CBS News in Washington that “Kim must not see American weakness.”

Trump, after the first-ever meeting between U.S. and North Korean leaders, had been scheduled to fly back to Washington on Wednesday morning after spending Tuesday with Kim in Singapore. But on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday after a full day of meetings with Kim — almost 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated.

“The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected,” the White House said in a statement.

U.S. and North Korean officials have been holding preliminary meetings in the run-up to the Tuesday summit.

In recent days, Trump had suggested the meeting could last days, potentially even resulting in a nuclear deal. But U.S. officials have since avoided such lofty declarations. Abbreviating the meeting to a single day could make it easier to cast the summit as an early, symbolic opening, rather than a substantive negotiation in which a lack of tangible progress would suggest failure on the part of the negotiators.

The White House said the summit was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday. After greeting each other — an image sure to be devoured around the world — the two leaders planned to sit for a one-on-one meeting that a U.S. official said could last up to two hours, with only translators joining them. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

The daylong summit will also include a working lunch and a larger meeting involving aides to both leaders, the White House said. On the U.S. side, Trump was to be joined by Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly, national security adviser John Bolton and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, along with a few others.

After concluding the summit, Trump planned to speak to reporters in Singapore before flying home, the White House said.

Pompeo, addressing reporters ahead of the summit, said the U.S. was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with “sufficient certainty” that denuclearization “is not something that ends badly for them.”

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula, but stressed the context of the discussions was “radically different than ever before.”

“I can only say this,” Pompeo said. “We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America’s been willing to provide previously.”

In Singapore, the island city-state hosting the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cellphones as Trump headed to meet Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. As Trump and Lee sat down for a working lunch at the Istana house, Trump sounded optimistic, telling Lee, “we’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely.”

Trump also called the leaders of South Korea and Japan in advance of the summit, Pompeo said. Meanwhile, U.S. and North Korean officials huddled at a hotel Monday ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.

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RODMAN TO THE RESCUE? Dennis Rodman arrives at in Singapore to ‘help’ with Trump-Kim nuclear summit

Singapore — Outlandish basketball player Dennis Rodman arrived in Singapore on Monday to assist in the summit between U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman, who has formed a close bond with the North Korean dictator and who once appeared on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice”, told reporters that he hoped to help facilitate a smooth introduction between his “friends”, the two leaders.

“I’m just happy to be a part of [the historic summit…I think I brought a lot of awareness to people around the world,” Rodman said.

Despite Rodman’s announcement, the White House made it clear Monday that the former NBA star wasn’t invited to come along.

‘Dennis Rodman? No. I didn’t know about Dennis,’ the president said when asked about Rodman’s presence at the summit.

‘He was not invited, but he’s a nice guy. I like him,’ Trump added.

It remains unclear what, if any, role Rodman will play at the meeting, which has been in the works for the past several months. When asked Monday, Rodman said he doesn’t know if, or when, he will meet with Kim.

“I don’t ask Donald Trump for anything. I like Donald Trump,” Rodman told TMZ Sports in April. “He’s a good friend, and I’ve always asked him to talk to me because the good people of North Korea and the government asked me to talk to Donald Trump about what they want and how we can solve things.”

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BACK ON? Trump says North Korea summit still a possibility

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Friday said the on again off again scheduled summit between the United States and North Korea may occur as scheduled June 12 after all.

“We’re talking to them now,” the president responded when asked by members of the press as he left the White House for a commencement speech if there was still a shot that the meeting may still take place.

“Everybody plays games,” said Trump, adding: “They very much want to do it, we’d like to do it.”

According to White House sources, the president was pleased with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s response to a notice Trump sent him on Thursday, notifying Kim of his intent to withdraw from the summit.

In the notice Trump notified North Korea that he felt it necessary to withdraw from the summit, citing Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” toward the United States.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter released by the White House.

North Korea followed Trump’s notice Friday with a statement of their own. In it, Jong-un said he was still “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks “at any time, at any format.”

Also on Friday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister said his country’s “objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged.”

“Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea,” Trump responded on Twitter. “We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully too long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!”

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LOCKED AND LOADED: Trump says US military ‘ready if necessary’ after pulling out of North Korea summit

Washington, D.C. (Fox News) — Minutes after pulling out of a highly anticipated summit with North Korea, President Trump said Thursday that the U.S. would continue its “maximum pressure campaign,” and warned that the military was “ready if necessary” — but made clear that a summit could still go forward if Kim Jong Un is willing to engage constructively.

“Our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world … is ready if necessary,” Trump said.

“Likewise, I’ve spoken with South Korea and Japan, and they are not only ready should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea, but they’re willing to shoulder much of the costs associated by operations if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us,” he added.

He said that the “very strong sanctions” and the “maximum pressure campaign will continue.”

However, the president clearly left open the possibility of the scheduled summit taking place, despite his letter to Kim Jong Un canceling talks following threats of nuclear action from the rogue regime.

“Hopefully,” he said, “everything is going to work out well with North Korea. A lot of things can happen, including the fact—it’s possible the existing summit could take place, or a summit at a later date.”

Trump added: “Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.”

The move to pull out of the summit, which had been slated to take place in Singapore on June 12, came after threats from Kim to call off the talks. In a letter to Kim on Thursday, Trump said the world, and North Korea, had lost a “great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity.”

“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 in a letter to Kim on Thursday. “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.”

North Korea has for days questioned whether the summit would proceed as planned.

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,” South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

The official also insulted Vice President Pence after he said North Korea had asked for 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.

But officials told Fox News it was the threat of nuclear war — not the insult to Pence — that had led to the summit pullout.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who met with Trump at the White House on Monday, convened an emergency meeting with top security aides on Thursday following Trump’s announcement, and expressed “deep regret” over the canceled U.S.-North Korea summit.

According to Yonhap, Moon urged the two leaders to engage in direct talks.

We “are trying to figure out what President Trump’s intention is and the exact meaning of it,” presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom reportedly said.

Moon said the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should not be delayed.

The Trump-Kim summit was set to come on the heels of a “historic meeting” between North and South Korea last month, when the leaders from those two nations pledged to clear the peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Moon and Kim announced they would work to achieve a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,” and also expressed hope to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War by the end of the year, though it is not clear at this point what steps the leaders might take to achieve denuclearization.

“KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!” Trump tweeted last month.

The leaders had agreed that by May 1, the loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts that had been blaring from each side of the heavily armed border would be suspended. They agreed to also dismantle broadcasting equipment and stop flying propaganda leaflets across their border.

Kim also promised Moon that he “won’t interrupt” his “early morning sleep anymore,” referring to missile tests, South Korea said.

But Kim’s tune changed last week; he canceled a high-level summit with Moon following U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which the state-run Korean media outlet suggested were a rehearsal for a potential invasion of the North.

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‘IT’S OFF!’ Trump cancels highly anticipated meeting with Kim Jong-un citing rogue state’s ‘tremendous anger’ toward US

Washington, D.C. (The Hill) — The White House offered new details Thursday on President Trump’s decision to cancel a planned June 12 summit with North Korea, saying he did so after a U.S. team was stood up by the Koreans, and that the letter announcing the decision to Kim Jong Un was 100 percent Trump.

“The president dictated every word of the letter himself,” a senior White House official said.

The letter cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” toward the United States in explaining why the meeting was being scrapped.
“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter released by the White House.

The U.S. and North Korea had agreed to hold the summit in Singapore last week, the White House official said.

But when the U.S. sent a deputy chief of staff and other advance team personnel to Singapore to set the meeting up, the North Koreas never showed up.

“They simply stood us up,” the official said.

The senior White House official also cast doubt on whether North Korea truly destroyed its nuclear test site, saying international inspectors were not allowed to attend

“We certainly hope that’s the case, but we really don’t know.”

“Secretary Pompeo and the South Korean government were promised by the North Koreans that international experts and officials would be invited to witness and verify today’s demolition,” the official said, but that promise was “broken.”
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