Trump says North Korea summit could still happen

Donald Trump says US North Korea summit ‘could’ happen on 12 June

Trump blamed the cancellation on "tremendous anger" from North Korea, saying the rogue nation had "lost a great opportunity for lasting peace". In an apparent conciliatory statement Friday morning, North Korea also expressed its "willingness to sit down face-to-face with the US and resolve issues anytime and in any format".

"We're talking to them now", Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House.

He made a quick decision to accept the sit-down in March, over the concerns of many top aides, and has remained committed, even amid rising concerns about the challenges he faces in scoring a positive agreement.

Trump told reporters that he had no hard feelings toward North Korea because "everybody plays games". "You know that better than anybody".

This comes after North Korean Vice President, Mike Pence lashed out at Mr Trump, calling him "stupid and ignorant". Mattis called the maneuvering "the usual give and take" of trying to put together big summits.

A senior White House official said Pyongyang had demonstrated a "profound lack of good faith" in the run-up to the summit - including standing up the White House's deputy chief of staff, who had travelled to Singapore for preparatory talks.

"I think [canceling the June 12 summit] shows how inconsistent Trump is with his policies", a 21-year-old student at Seoul's National University told TIME.

Comparisons and references from Washington to the "Libya model, " under which Libya gave up its nuclear program but which resulted in the public lynching of its leader Moammar Gaddafi, enraged North Korea, while let loose a volley of invective on U.S. officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton and vice-president Mike Pence, who spoke of the Libya model.

North Korea had threatened to pull out of the unprecedented summit after US officials advocated a so-called Libya model approach, which involved that African country's total nuclear dismantlement before any concessions were granted.

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What Mr Trump was referring to?

But relations between the rival Koreas chilled in recent weeks, with North Korea canceling a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in regular military exercises with the United States and insisting that it will not return to talks unless its grievances are resolved.

A recent survey commissioned by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, however, found that South Koreans were more concerned about air pollution than Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. But it did play the major role in organising Mr Pompeo's two trips to Pyongyang, once as Central Intelligence Agency director and once as secretary of state.

Trump repeatedly offered mixed messages about the exit.

Despite pulling out of the summit in response to the remarks, the president maintained in the letter to Kim and during a later televised address that he would be open to reentering talks with Kim and potentially rescheduling the summit. Trump's letter came after North Korea attacked Vice President Mike Pence as "ignorant and stupid" for his warnings over the planned summit, renewing a threat to cancel the historic talks.

Trump tweeted that it was "very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea".

"June 12 is in 10 minutes", the official said. Regardless of the motivation, Kim's statement was the latest whiplash development in efforts to diplomatically address what might be the world's most unsafe standoff. He added that efforts to revive the June 12 summit are now in the hands of diplomats.

"His sudden and unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is something unexpected to us and we can not but feel great regret for it", Kim Kye Gwan said of Trump in a statement on state media. "We'll see what happens".


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