Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Trump says summit with North Korea could still go ahead

Trump says summit with North Korea could still go ahead

President Donald Trump on Friday warmly welcomed North Korea's promising response to his abrupt withdrawal from the potentially historic Singapore summit and said "we're talking to them now" about putting it back on track.

"If you don't behave aggressively and if you don't corner North Korea, the result that we need will be achieved faster than many would think, and at less cost", Mr Putin said. One sign, written in English, read "withdraw US troops".

It was inevitable that the 45th president of the United States was going to face a North Korea that had accumulated a small arsenal of nuclear weapons, along with ballistic missiles able to carry them long distances.

"We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant", Mr Trump wrote. He and Kim had agreed to meet to talk about the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which sent tensions soaring previous year.

Since accepting Kim's invitation in March, Trump has continually heightened anticipation for the summit, predicting a "very big success" and entertaining South Korean President Moon Jae-in's remark that he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's withdrawal "unexpected" and "very regrettable", and said the cancellation of the talks showed "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties".

He said the approaching North Korean denuclearization as "a surrender, that [Pyongyang] is bowing to the sanctions levied against them".

"A full denuclearisation of North Korea" should involve giving "North Korea a guarantee of their sovereignty and inviolability", he said.

North Korea said Friday it is still willing to sit for denuclearization talks with the United States "at any time, (in) any format". He said everyone plays games.

GETTYThe US president called the North Korea summit off
GETTYThe US president called the North Korea summit off

But the erratic and brinksman-like diplomacy from the White House may have prompted South Korea to go onto the front foot to preserve the opportunity to reduce the threat on its border from a neighbour that had spent much of past year aggressively firing missiles into worldwide air space and exploded its sixth nuclear device.

"That diplomats are still at work on the summit, (the) possibility of a summit, so that's very good news", Mattis said.

Indeed, the idea of peace on a peninsula still technically at war has started to feel so real that there's a boom in property sales inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ). "We'll see what happens - it [the summit] could even be the 12th [of June]".

On Saturday, Kim Chang-son, who has been serving as de facto chief of staff to Kim Jong-un, was seen at a Beijing airport taking an Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

"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 in a statement on state media.

"If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write", the president wrote to Kim. There, former leader Colonel Gaddafi gave up his nascent nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later.

Trump on Thursday canceled the highly anticipated meeting with Kim, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" from North Korea in a letter addressed to Kim and released by the White House.

Summit meetings of this kind usually involve months of detailed planning and some analysts have expressed disquiet that private discussion of policy differences appears to have been replaced by "diplomacy by tweet", our correspondent adds.

"We reiterate to the USA that there is a willingness to sit down at any time, in any way, to solve the problem", said a top official at the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

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