Japan shows 'understanding' about summit, vows to keep pressure on N. Korea
Japan shows 'understanding' about summit, vows to keep pressure on N. Korea
GETTYKim Jong-un has apparently destroyed his Punggye-ri nuclear test site
25 May, 2018, 19:40
Casey Lartigue, co-founder of the Seoul-based organisation Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), said he had predicted the summit would be cancelled "at least once". "They simply stood us up".
Trump's cancellation of the summit came amid mounting skepticism about the North's sincerity after the country's earlier threats to scrap the Kim-Trump summit.
Mr. Trump signaled the shift on Thursday, warning of USA nuclear and military superiority both in a letter to Mr. Kim and in public remarks.
Trump's comments, as he headed to Annapolis to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement, came shortly after he also expressed optimism on Twitter about opening a dialogue with Kim - and accused Democrats of "rooting against" his administration's efforts.
The 12 June summit in Singapore would have been the first time a sitting U.S. president had met a North Korean leader.
"Moon sees this as his mission", Lee said. "Only time (and talent) will tell!"
In a later statement at the White House, Trump said the United States military is "ready if necessary" to respond to a "foolish or reckless act" by North Korea.
The White House has repeatedly offered mixed messages.
Both the meetings, he said, laid the ground work for a meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
After Vice President Pence told Fox's Martha MacCallum that "this will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal", the North's foreign vice minister called Pence a "political dummy" and said it was up to the White House "whether the USA will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown". In addition, it's unclear whether the explosions rendered the tunnels at the testing site unusable, or only caused limited damage. CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy was the only USA broadcast network correspondent to witness it, among a small group of worldwide journalists. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid overshadowing Trump's comments Thursday.
Many observers had expected a belligerent North Korean response to Trump's cancellation, but the comments by Kim, the North's vice foreign minister, seemed, at times, nearly meek, and in stark contrast to the bellicose declarations a year ago of the North's willingness to pursue nuclear war.
But the USA president has still left the door open for a possible meeting in future and this has led to speculation on what could have possibly proven to be the last nail in the coffin before the final decision was taken by the American side.
GETTYA series of explosions were witnessed at the Punggye-ri site
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".
For now, Trump has shown he's not so desperate to talk to Kim that he'll enter the talks from a weakened position, and with a single letter, he's changed North Korea's tune.
"What's important is that we have to make the summit meeting an opportunity to proceed with nuclear, missiles and, above all, abduction issues (toward resolutions)", he said.
"I was born in North Korea and now live with a South Korean identity". The Blue House said Thursday that it was trying to figure out Trump's intentions in canceling the summit. Now, Trump has done that to North Korea.
In April, Trump had stunned the world by accepting an invitation to meet Kim in an unprecedented sit-down. He unveiled the date and the time with characteristic showmanship.
North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
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Some analysts see signs of a classic Trump manoeuvre to twist the process to his advantage.
A satellite photo of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea on Wednesday. He told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the lack of response was an additional reason for Trump's decision.
Despite hints in recent statements of the old fiery rhetoric from both the U.S. president and Pyongyang, both sides have left the door open for talks.
A White House team was set to fly to Singapore this weekend to continue logistical planning for the meeting.
Donald Trump often walks away from the table, or threatens to, as he did as a NY businessman. Kim paid a secret visit to his primary ally just before Pompeo's visit, and China is wary of any shift in the balance of power on the Korean peninsula.
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