North Korea keeps its promise to destroy its nuclear test site

May 25, 2018, 22:12
North Korea keeps its promise to destroy its nuclear test site

"It is hard to estimate whether it is because of lack of will in the meeting of leaders or the lack of confidence".

"Whether the USA 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", Choe said.

The letter from Trump to Kim.

The statement from Pyongyang appeared created to get the summit back on track after Trump canceled their planned Singapore meeting, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" in recent statements from North 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 the long-planned meeting", Mr Trump said in a letter to Mr Kim.

Trump called it "a missed opportunity" and said someday he still hoped to meet Kim.

Choe said the North's nuclear program is far more advanced than Libya's had been and renewed a threat to call off the summit. The Washington Post reports that National Security Adviser John Bolton informed Trump around 10 p.m. Wednesday that North Korea had issued a statement calling Vice-President Mike Pence a "political dummy," and warning that the USA could either "meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown". In April, Trump had stunned the world by accepting an invitation to meet Kim in an unprecedented sit-down.

In a personal letter to Kim, Trump announced Thursday he would not go ahead with the June 12 summit in Singapore, following what the White House called a "trail of broken promises" by the North. "We'll see what happens". But he also threatened that the United States military was "ready if necessary". "Nobody should be anxious, we have to get it right". Chinese President Xi Jinping could see his trade fight with Trump further entangled with the North Korea dispute, while South Korea's Moon Jae-in could be forced to choose between his dream of reconciliation with Pyongyang and the security demands of his US ally.

President Donald Trump speaks during a signing ceremony for the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act", in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Washington.

Moon said he was "very perplexed and it is very regrettable" that the summit would not take place.

As far as the diplomatic back-and-forth that derailed what would have been a historic meeting between a U.S. and North Korean leader, Trump seemed understanding.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

North Korea and trade have always been linked for Trump - and that puts China in the firing line. Drawn to big moments and bigger headlines, Trump viewed the North Korea summit as a legacy-maker, believing that the combustible combination of his bombast and charm could produce warmer relations between North and South.

China's spokesman Lu said North Korea's step to dismantle the nuclear test site was "an important step taken by the DPRK" which was "worth acknowledging and encouraging".

That act was supposed to signal North Korea's willingness to negotiate with the U.S. over denuclearisation at the June 12 meeting.

The senior US official said the North violated a pledge to allow worldwide inspectors to monitor the supposed implosion of the test site.

On Thursday we learned that Pyongyang was making other moves behind the scenes that suggested they wouldn't follow through with the summit.

Japan said it would maintain "close co-operation" with the US and South Korea.

But Chinese spokesman, Lu Kang said China's role had been positive and consistent in the talks.

Still, both Trump and Kim have left open the door to rescheduling a summit they both appear to want.

"The cancellation of the summit raises China trade risk", said Ryan Hass, who directed China policy for the National Security Council's China during Obama administration and is now a Brookings Institution foreign policy fellow.

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