North Korea summit could still happen on June 12: Donald Trump

Ivan Schwartz
May 26, 2018

"We have got some, possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, may have it back on even", Mattis told reporters.

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 United States is technically still at war - but he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point.

Trump then told White House reporters as he headed to Marine One the June 12 summit could still take place.

"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.

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. Washington and Pyongyang will blame the other for failure, and we could very well go back to the same set of conditions that brought us to the brink of war previous year, or worse: missile and nuclear tests followed by threats of a military strike. "We'd like to do it". But later that evening, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a statement saying that he would still be open to meeting with Trump and American officials. Moon said Trump's decision left him "perplexed" and was "very regrettable".

At an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said such a summit was necessary to ensure security on the Korean peninsula, which touched on China's core interests.

"Eventually, Kim Jong Un has no other choice but to come and meet Trump", Kenneth Choi, an worldwide editor for a South Korean newspaper Chosun-ilbo, told ABC News.

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

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The Friday morning (local time) tweet came a day after he withdrew from the June 12 summit.

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.

But the whiplash from the White House was unusual even for the chaos-loving president.

Trump's letter issued a veiled threat to Kim, saying: 'You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray they will never be used'.

Just a day earlier, a top North Korean official lambasted the Trump administration for "unlawful and outrageous acts" - a reference to comments from the White House about a "Libya-style" coerced denuclearization.

"In a contest of who can be the most erratic leader, President Trump beats Kim Jong Un hands-down", Joel Wit, founder of the respected 38 North website which monitors North Korea, wrote on Twitter. The group had erected cardboard cutouts celebrating Moon and Kim's recent meeting at the DMZ.

US regional allies Japan and South Korea, as well as North Korea's main ally, China, urged the two countries to salvage the summit on Friday. And it's between North Korea and the US right now.

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.

Other reports by GizPress

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