China supports Korea talks after Trump's dramatic cancellation

Kelley Robertson
May 25, 2018

Pompeo's statement came after US President Donald Trump cancelled his proposed summit meeting with Kim on June 12 in Singapore.

Trump announced Thursday that he was canceling the June 12 summit with the North in Singapore, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility". Beijing had backed the summit and was possibly taken unawares with the cancellation following heated exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang this week.

Late Wednesday, Trump had been briefed on the latest round of increasingly belligerent messages from North Korea, including a threatened "nuclear-to-nuclear showdown".

The statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, a longtime nuclear negotiator and senior diplomat, which said the North is "willing to give the USA time and opportunities" to reconsider talks that had been set for June 12 in Singapore, could be driven by a need to use the summit to ease crushing global sanctions, or by a determination that a summit with the mercurial Trump is the best opportunity the North will ever have to elevate itself, and its nuclear program, to equality with its archrival. Trump said from the White House that a "maximum pressure campaign" of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea - with which the technically still at war - though he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point.

"Under the current circumstances we hope both the DPRK and the U.S. can cherish the recent positive progress, stay patient, show goodwill, move in the same direction and continue to stay committed to promoting the denuclearisation of the peninsula", he added.

North Korea itself seemed taken aback.

Meanwhile, commenting on what lies ahead, Dr Sojin Lim, a senior lecturer in Korean studies told The Independent that "It will now be up to South Korea to try to bring the two countries back into some sort of dialogue - however, North Korea's burgeoning relationship with China means that it is now far less dependent on the U.S., so it will be even more hard to re-establish negotiations between the two countries".

Shortly before this, Mr Trump welcomed North Korea's willingness to hold talks "at any time", describing it as "warm and productive".

Incoming U.S. presidents enjoy a good deal of discretion, but they have no choice when it comes to the problems they inherit.

Both the meetings, he said, laid the ground work for a meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

The chances of the summit actually happening had been dwindling since last week, when North Korea dropped the diplomatic tone it had been using for weeks and threatened to cancel the meeting if the USA kept pushing "unilateral nuclear abandonment". That was far different from his letter Thursday to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang for the USA withdrawal. "Is it your opinion that this decision by Kim Jong-un is a result of a weak leader who lacks the internal support to go forward with a meeting on denuclearisation?"

March 7: After visiting Kim in Pyongyang, South Korean presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong says Kim is willing to discuss the fate of his nuclear arsenal with the United States.

He added that North Korea "inwardly highly appreciated" Trump for agreeing to the summit, and hoped the "Trump formula" would help lead to a deal between the adversaries.

On Friday, North Korea's vice foreign minister said his country's "objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged".

Trump's aides had warned that merely agreeing to the summit had provided Kim with long-sought global legitimacy and, if Trump ultimately backed out, risked fostering the perception that the president was insufficiently committed to diplomatic solutions to the nuclear question.

Trump's decision got mixed reviews from the worldwide community.

As the world processes the cancelation of the U.S.

"We got a lot of dial tones, senator", he told Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.

Trump made his remarks on the south lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One for the flight to Annapolis, Md., where he delivered the commencement address to graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Mr Trump wrote: "If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write".

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