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Trump-North Korea summit: World reacts as US president cancels Kim Jong-un meeting

Doubts have been building over the status of the summit for days

Andrew Buncombe
New York
,Chris Stevenson,Emily Shugerman
Thursday 24 May 2018 18:30 BST
Trump cancels North Korea summit and brags about military strength: 'Our military is ready if necessary'

Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, blaming increasingly hostile rhetoric from Pyongyang.

After several days during which the president appeared to be signalling that secret negotiations ahead of his planned meeting for June 12 were not going well, he said he was pulling out of the meeting because of the "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent statement from Mr Kim. He called it a "missed opportunity" and "truly sad moment in history."

It had been Mr Trump's ambition to securing a peace deal with North Korea - something that none of his predecessors were able to do - has now apparently been placed on the back burner.

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"I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," he said in a letter to North Korea which was made public. "Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties but to the detriment of the world, will not take place."

Later, at the White House, President Trump said the US is "more ready than we have ever been before." He warned that the US, South Korea and Japan are all ready should North Korea take any "foolish and reckless acts."

"I have spoken to South Korea and Japan, and they are not only ready should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea, but they are willing to shoulder much of the cost of any financial burden, any of the costs associated by the United States in operations if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us," Trump said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with his top security and other aides after the release of the letter.

Blue House press secretary Yoon Young-chan said Mr Moon was meeting with his foreign minister, defense minister and his chief of staff, among others.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced deep disappointment at the cancellation of the planned meeting. Mr Guterres, in remarks delivered at the University of Geneva, said: “I am deeply concerned by the cancellation of the planned meeting in Singapore between the President of the United States and the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.”

He urged the parties to continue their dialogue so as to “find a path to the peaceful and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

Reuters contributed to this report


Welcome to our coverage of the reaction to President Donald Trump's decision to cancel the planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Steve Anderson24 May 2018 16:01

Mr Trump announced the cancellation by publishing a letter he sent to Mr Kim, in which he blamed the "hostile" rhetoric coming from North Korea in the last few days.

Here is the letter in full:

Steve Anderson24 May 2018 16:04

The UN chief says he is "deeply concerned" by the cancellation of the planned summit.

Antonio Guterres told an audience at the University of Geneva that he was urging the parties to keep working "to find a path to the peaceful and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." 

Mr Guterres' comments came as he laid out his disarmament agenda, warning that nuclear agreements between states have been threatened like never before. 

Steve Anderson24 May 2018 16:14

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called together his top security and other aides in the wake of the cancellation of the summit.

Blue House press secretary Yoon Young-chan said Mr Moon was meeting with his foreign minister, defense minister and his chief of staff, among others.

Steve Anderson24 May 2018 16:25

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he was involved in discussions late Wednesday and early Thursday that led to President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But, he would not say exactly which, if any, other countries were given a head's up on the decision, including South Korea.

"I don't want to get into who all we notified," he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to the Associated Press. "The White House will speak to that at the appropriate time."

Andrew Buncombe24 May 2018 16:35

Andrew Buncombe24 May 2018 16:37

Andrew Buncombe24 May 2018 16:37

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, has said that the parties involved in the Korea talks will need "nerves of steel" and has urged all parties to stay involved in the process.

Steve Anderson24 May 2018 16:44

People appear to be making light of the matter on Capitol Hill.

Andrew Buncombe24 May 2018 16:51

British Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a statement expressing regret that the summit has been cancelled. “We are disappointed that President Trump’s talks with Kim Jong Un on 12 June will no longer go ahead as planned," she said in a statement.

Andrew Buncombe24 May 2018 16:56

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