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Trump cancels summit with Kim Jong-un

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12 in Singapore in an angry response to the North’s statement warning of a “nuclear showdown.” – reported Korea JoonGang Daily (South Korea).

“Sadly, 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,” said Trump in a letter released by the White House.

“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.”

The letter clearly conveyed Trump’s anger and frustration over a statement issued hours before in which Pyongyang called Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” and warned of a “nuclear showdown” with the U.S.

Earlier, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Choe Son-hui as calling Vice President Mike Pence "ignorant" and "stupid."

Choe said that she couldn’t suppress “surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks” made by Pence, who told Fox News that the North might end up like Libya if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un refused to make a deal on giving up his nuclear arsenal.

North Korea “will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them” to hold the June 12 summit, Choe said, adding that it’s up to Washington whether the summit will be held or the two countries kick off a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”

Trump made very clear that he was angered by Choe’s remarks, which led him to pull out of what would have been an historic summit on June 12 in Singapore.

Responding to the North’s warning of a nuclear showdown, Trump wrote, “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

But Trump left open the possibility of a later summit with Kim if the North toned down its rhetoric.

And as if talking to a business partner, Trump said, “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you.”

The news of the summit’s collapse was a huge disappointment for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held his own summit with Trump Tuesday at the White House and expressed his conviction that the Pyongyang-Washington summit would be successful. He fulsomely praised Trump for making such a summit possible.


South Korean President Moon Jae-In held an emergency meeting with senior security officials on Thursday following President Trump's decision to cancel talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, according to Yonhap News Agency, reported The Hill (US).

"I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-U.S. summit will not be held on June 12 when it was scheduled to be held," Moon said during the meeting at his residence, according to Yonhap.

The South Korean leader also reportedly urged Kim and Trump to speak with each other following Trump's move.
"Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace are historic tasks that can neither be abandoned nor delayed," he added.


President Trump has abruptly canceled his much-hyped June 12 summit with North Korea in a baffling letter to Kim Jong Un in which he cited the latter's supposed "tremendous anger and open hostility." Given Trump's record of pervasive dishonesty and addle-brained rambling, it's anybody's guess what his actual thinking was, reported The Week (US).

Our allies seemed to have been caught off guard by Trump's missive. ("We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means," said South Korean government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.) But once they've had a chance to gather themselves, there's no reason why South Korea, North Korea, and China shouldn't go ahead with their own diplomatic agreement to officially end the Korean War and sketch out some kind of live-and-let-live agreement in the region. Indeed, under the Trump administration, the United States is a hindrance to peace or indeed any sort of functioning diplomacy at all. If Trump had gone ahead with this North Korea summit, it's a virtual certainty that either he or his team would have botched it somehow. Cut America out of the loop, and you might actually get something done.

All parties can still benefit powerfully. On the South Korean side, they can resolve the terrifying decades-long standoff with their northern neighbor, restore a semblance of diplomatic relations, and reduce the military threat aimed at their nation. A total dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is likely out of the question (and probably always was), but ballistic missile limitations and taking down the artillery emplacements aimed at Seoul is a reasonable ask.

On the North Korean side, they can get some relief from devastating sanctions, a partial return to ordinary nation status, and perhaps most importantly, get to appear magnanimous and statesmanlike. For an international pariah like Kim — and watching his performance at a recent visit to China — that latter possibility is surely an appealing one.

China (which would surely need to be involved as it is has by far the most leverage over North Korea) would get to resolve an obnoxious and destabilizing thorn in its side, gain prestige as the regional powerbroker while making the U.S. look foolish and incompetent, and even the juicy possibility of peeling off a close U.S. ally that is probably furious beyond words at Trump's betrayal. South Korean President Moon Jae-In has wagered enormous political capital on the possibility of some kind of rapprochement with North Korea, and is probably wondering just what the point of the American alliance is if he is going to be jerked around like this on his number one security priority.

Heck, Japan might want to get involved as well. They are only somewhat less threatened by North Korean saber-rattling, and may be figuring it's time to move towards a more neutral posture.

Obviously there is a lot of guesswork (and perhaps excessive optimism) involved in this argument, and even the leaders of these countries probably aren't sure themselves what they want to do yet. And after all, China and North Korea are ruthless dictatorships, and may not view peace as such a positive goal.

But even so, the logic is clear enough. And if some or all of these nations even make hesitant moves toward such a thing, it will demonstrate how Trump's flailing, herky-jerky incompetence is dissolving America's entire post-WWII foreign policy framework. As nations realize the United States cannot be trusted, a new day in international relations will dawn.

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