Sum­mit off over N Korea ‘anger’

The Weekend Post - - World - SARAH BLAKE in New York

US PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump has dra­mat­i­cally quit his planned nu­clear sum­mit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump was to meet Kim next month in Sin­ga­pore to be­gin ne­go­ti­at­ing de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion on the Korean penin­sula in re­turn for the eas­ing of eco­nomic sanc­tions on the rogue state.

But he dra­mat­i­cally with­drew yes­ter­day, cit­ing “tremen­dous anger and open hos­til­ity” from Py­ongyang.

Fol­low­ing an ag­gres­sive state­ment from North Korea’s for­eign af­fairs min­istry, which la­belled US Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence a “po­lit­i­cal dummy” and threat­ened a nu­clear “show­down”, Mr Trump re­leased an open let­ter with­draw­ing from the talks.

In re­sponse, North Korea re­leased fresh im­ages of what it says was the de­mo­li­tion of a nu­clear test site just hours be­fore Mr Trump’s “abrupt” with­drawal from talks.

Py­ongyang de­scribed Mr Trump’s de­ci­sion as “ex­tremely re­gret­table” and said the meet­ing could still go ahead.

“We again state to the US our will­ing­ness to sit face-to­face at any time in any form to re­solve the prob­lem,” a state­ment from the North Korean for­eign min­istry said.

In his let­ter, Mr Trump said that he felt it was “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,” Mr Trump said.

“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.”

Mr Trump later said it was pos­si­ble the meet­ing may still pro­ceed if North Korea were to tone down its con­fronta­tional lan­guage. De­scrib­ing the can­cel­la­tion as a “tremen­dous set­back” for North Korea and the world, he said he be­lieved di­a­logue was still an op­tion.

“Hope­fully ev­ery­thing is go­ing to work out well with North Korea,” he said.

“A lot of things can hap­pen. In­clud­ing the fact that, per­haps, it’s pos­si­ble the ex­ist­ing sum­mit could take place or a sum­mit at some later date.

“No­body should be anx­ious. We have to get it right.”

Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop de­scribed the with­drawal as “re­gret­table” and urged the world to not make as­sump­tions about what it meant.

IT’S POS­SI­BLE THE EX­IST­ING SUM­MIT COULD TAKE PLACE OR A SUM­MIT AT A LATER DATE. NO­BODY SHOULD BE ANX­IOUS DON­ALD TRUMP

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