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Trump says nuclear summit with North Korea is off

Citing intensely angry North Korean statements in recent days, U.S. President Donald Trump has cancelled the June 12 nuclear summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

From the NYT (“Trump Pulls Out of North Korea Summit Meeting with Kim Jong-un“):

But Mr. Trump said later that the meeting with Mr. Kim … could still happen, even as he renewed threats of military action against the North and vowed to continue a campaign of economic pressure against Mr. Kim’s regime.

The mixed messages deepened the uncertainty around a diplomatic encounter that had an air of unreality from the time in March when Mr. Trump spontaneously accepted Mr. Kim’s invitation to meet.

The president made his announcement in a formal and at times mournful-sounding letter to Mr. Kim, in which Mr. Trump cited North Korea’s derisive statements about Vice President Mike Pence as the specific reason for canceling the meeting.

“I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed for the world,” Mr. Trump said at a bill-signing ceremony later in the morning. He said he was waiting to see whether Mr. Kim would take “constructive dialogue and actions” toward relinquishing his nuclear arsenal.

The summit had seemed to be on perilous ground even before the most recent exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang. American and North Korean officials staked out deeply divergent positions on how quickly the North should surrender its nuclear arsenal, casting a shadow on what would be a history-making encounter that clearly beguiled both leaders.

Thu, May 24 2018 » * Big Picture Stuff, Main Page