President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will not participate in the planned negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The negotiations were planned for June 12 in Singapore, and would have followed after several meetings between top American and North Korean officials.
Mr Trump’s decision to pull back from the talks cited “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed” in a recent statement from North Korean officials. That statement appears to have been one in which a senior North Korean official dismissed remarks from Vice President Mike Pence as “stupid”, and said that the country would not “beg” for discussions while warning of a “nuclear showdown” if diplomacy failed.
Mr Trump had previously said that North Korea “may end up like Libya”, where then-leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011 by rebels abandoning nuclear weapons eight years earlier.
“As a person involved in US affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing from the mouth of the US vice-president,” the North Korean official, Choe Son-hui, said in response to the message. “Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behaviour of the United States.”
You can read Mr Trump’s letter, in full, below.
May 24, 2018
His Excellency Kim Jong Un Chairman of the State Affairs Commission
of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Pyongyang
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.
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America