Kim is not a weak leader, says US Secretary of State

25 May, 2018, 19:37 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • Stocks slide as Trump says North Korean meeting is canceled

"I hope they're not hammered too much".

The detonation, which took place in the presence of dozens of worldwide journalists but no independent experts, came after Kim Jong Un pledged to cease all nuclear and long-range missile tests last month.

Still, Mr Trump's announcement appeared to surprise South Korea, which had pushed to keep the summit on track as recently as Tuesday, when President Moon Jae-in met with Mr Trump in the Oval Office and said the "fate and the future" of the Korean Peninsula hinged on the talks.

First Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan called Trump's decision "unexpected" and "regrettable". But they would have focused on ways of denuclearising the Korean peninsula and reducing tensions.

"I knew this would happen", wrote one angry user in criticism of Mr Trump.

For its part, Pyongyang said the decision was "unexpected" and "regrettable" but added: "We again state to the USA our willingness to sit face-to-face at any time in any form to resolve the problem". We're talking to them [North Korea] now. Journalists on this week's trip report no such experts joined them for the visible gesture put on by Kim.

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.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis echoed Trump's optimism Friday while speaking to reporters before a meeting with Danish officials at the Pentagon.

The weekend after the summit, it was the Blue House in South Korea that announced North Korea would invite foreign observers to Punggye-ri.

Pyongyang furthered that impression in the hours after Trump's letter, defying expectations in some quarters that it might launch a missile, or at least a volley of abuse.

Regardless of the motivation, Kim Kye Gwan's statement is the latest whiplash development in efforts to diplomatically address what might be the world's most unsafe standoff.

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"If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do hot hesitate to call me or write", he said.

"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", read Trump's letter to Kim. Trump also said from the White House that a "maximum pressure campaign" of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea - with which the U.S.is technically still at war - but he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point.

A senior administration official in the USA later gave further details, saying North Korea had shown "a profound lack of good faith".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testifying Thursday on Capitol Hill, said North Korea had not responded to repeated requests from US officials to discuss logistics for the summit.

The Pentagon said it was prepared for any "provocative actions" from North Korea.

Ms Choe, who has been involved in several diplomatic interactions with the United States over the past decade, said the North would not "beg" for dialogue and warned of a "nuclear showdown" if diplomacy failed.

Last week, the White House sent its deputy chief of staff and his advance team to the city state, the official said. They stressed, however, there was a "backdoor that's open still". Then came North Korean objections to televised comments by John Bolton when the national security adviser said the administration would follow the Libya model for denuclearization-not exactly appealing words to the North Koreans, since Muammar Qaddafi wound up dead. Since January, Kim has taken a radically softer approach to foreign affairs, sending his sister to the Olympics in South Korea, meeting with his South Korean counterpart on their shared border and exploding parts of his nuclear testing site Thursday in an apparent sign of good faith. It is insistent it will not engage in any peace process that jeopardises its leadership or its survival as a state.

Earlier comments by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, seen as a driving force behind the summit and just returned to Seoul from a meeting with Trump in Washington, suggested that the South, a top USA ally and host to 28,500 US troops, was blindsided by Trump's statement.

Decades of diplomatic stalemate had given way to what appeared to be genuine progress in one of geopolitics' stickiest issues, thanks, supporters said, to Trump's unorthodox approach and willingness to engage an worldwide pariah.

It was South Korean officials who first informed the U.S. earlier this year that Mr Kim was prepared to discuss potential nuclear disarmament.

Asian markets mostly fell on Friday as Donald Trump shocked the world by pulling out of next month's historic summit with Kim Jong Un, though analysts said the losses were tempered by hopes the talks can be rekindled.

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