24, May 2018
US President Donald Trump has called off his planned summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The unprecedented summit was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore.
Trump made the announcement in a letter released by the White House on Thursday.
“I was very much looking forward to being there with you,” Trump said in the letter. “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.”
On Tuesday, Trump expressed doubts about the meeting taking place as scheduled when he hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House.
Moon’s visit to the US was originally arranged as a meeting to fine-tune a joint strategy for dealing with North Korea but instead became more of a crisis session after Pyongyang last week threatened to scrap plans for the summit.
The summit’s cancellation is a major blow to what Trump supporters hoped would have been the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency.
The White House was caught off-guard when North Korea condemned the latest US-South Korean military drills, suspended North-South talks, and threatened to cancel the Trump-Kim summit.
Washington will “have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military” said the North’s official news agency KCNA on Tuesday.
The United States, which has substantial presence in South Korea, was on a war footing with the North over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. But relations have dramatically improved in the past four months and a half.
Pyongyang has also announced plans to dismantle its Punggye-ri nuclear test site by the end of May, prior to the North Korea-US summit meeting. It has also suspended its missile and nuclear programs but has not publicly committed to abandoning those programs.