Read Trump’s statement.
US President Donald Trump has cancelled his planned meeting with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un, after North Korea issued aggressive statements attacking US Vice President Mike Pence and threatening a “nuclear showdown.”
Trump has tweeted about the cancellation:
Sadly, I was forced to cancel the Summit Meeting in Singapore with Kim Jung Un. pic.twitter.com/qEoi9ymUEz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018
Here’s the text of Trump’s response:
“Dear Mr. Chairman:
We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.
I was very much looking forward to being there with you. 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. 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. 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.
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. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.
If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.
The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.”
While this is a disappointment, it makes sense from a negotiating perspective. North Korea had been counting on the US being so desperate for a deal that they would do anything to get it done and put up with any amount of disrespect. By walking away, and reminding North Korea that the US has a massive nuclear arsenal, Trump has shown that he won’t be pushed around, and that North Korea still has much to fear.
Since ruthless people like Kim Jong Un usually only respond to fear, it could bring him back to the table in time.