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» » » » Trump cancels summit with North Korea's Kim

Cites ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in the young leader's recent statement

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called off his planned June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which was to take place in Singapore. In a letter to Mr. Kim, Mr. Trump wrote: “..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."
"I was very much looking forward to being there with you," the President said in his letter, which was released by the White House.

Dramatic U-turn

In a dramatic turnaround in March, Mr. Trump had accepted an offer from Mr. Kim of a summit, conveyed through South Korean interlocutors. After months of diatribe and threats, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim appeared willing to negotiate denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula but the initiative began to unravel early this month with both countries resorting to fresh threats.  
In the most recent statement that Mr. Trump mentions in his letter, Choe Son Hui, a vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry, talked of a "nuclear-to-nuclear showdown" with the U.S, threatening to call off the summit. The statement from North Korea was in response to a statement from U.S Vice-President Mike Pence on May 21, in which he warned off a "Libya model" if Mr. Kim did not agree to denuclearise. 
"There was some talk about the Libyan model last week, and you know, as the President made clear, this will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn't make a deal," Mr. Pence said on Monday. When pointed out that this could be interpreted as a threat, he told Fox News: "Well, I think it's more of a fact." "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 behavior of the United States," Ms. Choe said in response.

His meetings with Moon, Xi

The recluse leader of North Korea had met with South Korean President President Moon Jae-in, and traveled to China twice to meet with President Xi Jinping since the announcement of the summit.  But what appeared to be a diplomatic breakthrough until weeks ago began to collapse with a statement by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton who proposed a "Libya model" for Korean nuclear talks in the last week of April. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi dismantled his nuclear programme in an agreement in 2004 but ended up murdered by political opponents supported by America in 2011.
Mr. Trump, who had been showcasing the summit as a landmark diplomatic achievement of his presidency,  made a public statement distancing himself from Mr. Bolton and guaranteeing Mr. Kim's survival and security even as North Korea talked off pulling off from the summit. Though North Korea followed through on its commitment to free Americans held hostage and dismantle its nuclear test sites, the mutual distrust and fear appeared to have carried the day.  
"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 wrote. "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God that they will never have to be used," he said.
"I felt a wonderful dialogue was building between you and me, and ultimately it is only that dialogue that matters…Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” the President said, thanking the North Korean leader for releasing Americans imprisoned by his regime.
Full text of Mr. Trump's letter to Mr. Kim
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 appreciation 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 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.

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