North Korea says it's still open to talks after Trump cancels summit

Leslie Hanson
May 25, 2018

North Korea has said it is still willing to talk to the United States after President Donald Trump cancelled a summit between the two countries, a decision Pyongyang described as "extremely regrettable".

A senior White House official said the decision to back out of the summit came after North Korea reneged on promises to allow global inspectors to observe the demolition of a nuclear site yesterday and failed to show up at a meeting with South Korean counterparts.

In a separate statement at the White House, Mr Trump said the step was a "tremendous setback for North Korea and the world", adding the USA military was "ready if necessary" to respond to any "reckless" act from North Korea.

Both Pence and Trump's hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton had raised the spectre of Libyan leader Moamer Khadafi, who gave up atomic weapons only to die years later at the hands of US-backed rebels.

With North Korea saying earlier in the day that it was ready for talks with the USA any time, Lu noted that both countries had left the door ajar to holding talks. Hours after releasing his cancellation letter on Thursday, the president declared, "I really believe Kim Jong Un wants to do what's right". "We'd like to do it".

Trump tweeted Friday: "Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea".

References to Libya have angered North Korea.

Trump then issued his own threat in a letter to Kim.

"After all, those of us living on the Korean peninsula suffer the consequences of your action, you Yankee!", Kim said.

It was South Korean officials who first informed the United States earlier this year that Mr Kim was prepared to discuss potential nuclear disarmament.

"Don't cancel your reservations for Singapore just yet", former USA deputy secretary of state Anthony Blinken told VOA's Korean Service. In a major tone shift, he not only left the door open to more talks, he virtually begged Trump to walk on through. "North Korea summit. For me, it feels like North Korea is more of a normal country, saying it would give the USA time and wait", said Yun Hae-ri, a 25-year-old office worker.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the United States and North Korea should not give up, saying "nerves of steel" were required.

FILE - President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, May 22, 2018, in Washington.

A number of analysts tell VOA News there could still be a Trump-Kim summit soon. "This is unlikely to be the final word".

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology associate professor of political science Vipin Narang, "This is an inflection point in the administration policy toward North Korea".

"We have got some, possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, have it back on", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon before a meeting with the Danish defence minister. North Korean verbal barrages are a staple of its external propaganda - note its labeling of Trump as a "dotard" at the height of tensions past year. "So, if Kim is truly interested in some deal - well short of disarmament, obviously - his smartest move now is to exercise restraint".

BPR reported Thursday that North Korea demolished its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, fulfilling a commitment made by the Kim regime last month, just before Trump cancelled the summit.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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