UPDATED: 12:19 A.M.: At a press conference, President Donald Trump confirmed that his planned summit with Kim Jong Un had been cancelled due to a statement made by North Korea.
I’d like to begin by saying that based on the recent statement by North Korea, I have decided to terminate the planned summit in Singapore on June 12. While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea, and indeed for the world.
Trump, however, did not rule out the possibility that the summit could be un-cancelled at some point:
Hopefully everything is going to work out well with North Korea, including the fact that perhaps, and we’ll wait, it’s possible that the existing summit could take place, or perhaps a summit at some later date. Nobody should be anxious, we have to get it right.
During the press conference, Trump also touted the “enhanced” strength of the American military, citing the increased military budget. He added that he would “never compromise the safety and security” of the American people.
The South Korean president summoned several members of his government including his chief of staff, national security adviser, foreign minister, unification minister, and intelligence chief according to reports from The Washington Post. It has not been confirmed whether or not this meeting is about the cancellation of the summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, but it occurred shortly after the White House announced that the summit would not be taking place.
The White House released a statement Thursday morning announcing the cancellation of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The statement, which took the form of an open letter from the president to Kim, said that it would be “inappropriate” to have the meeting at this time, citing a “recent statement” by North Korea as the cause for the cancellation. The summit had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
It is unclear exactly what statement Trump was referring to. However, this cancellation comes just a day after North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs mocked vice president Mike Pence as a “political dummy.” CNN cited sources that claimed Trump was furious about this comment, and wanted to respond.
On Tuesday, a day before the comment about Mike Pence occurred, Trump suggested that the summit may be delayed.
During a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said, “You never know about deals. I’ve made a lot of deals. You never really know.” He added, “if it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen at a later date.”
The letter read, in part:
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.
Trump then moved on to tout the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal: “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.”
A letter from the President to Chairman Kim Jong Un: “It is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.” pic.twitter.com/3dDIp55xu1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 24, 2018
This is a developing story and will be updated.