25 May 2018Hot off the Press
United States President Donald Trump has cancelled next month’s historic summit with North Korea, accusing Pyongyang of “open hostility”, and warning that the US military is ready to respond to any provocative action from the regime.
Catching US allies by surprise, the decision came after US and North Korean officials exchanged heated words.
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui called US Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” for comparing North Korea to Libya, which a White House official called “the last straw”.
In a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Mr Trump said that “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.”
In response, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said: “We tell the United States once more that we are open to resolving problems at any time in any way.”
“We had set in high regards President Trump’s efforts, unprecedented by an other president, to create a historic North Korea-US summit,” he said in a statement released by North Korea’s central news agency.
The summit, which was planned to take place in Singapore on 12 June, would have been the first-ever meeting between the serving leaders of both countries.
Mr Trump has said that the US will continue its sanctions against North Korea in the hopes that this will pressure North Korea to give up nuclear weapons.
“North Korea has the opportunity to end decades of poverty and oppression by following the path of denuclearisation and joining the community of nations,” Mr Trump said.
“I hope that Kim Jong-un will ultimately do what is right, not only for himself, but perhaps most importantly what’s right for his people, who are suffering greatly and needlessly.”