WASHINGTON – In a dramatic diplomatic turn, President Donald Trump on Thursday called off next month’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, calling the cancellation a “tremendous setback” for peace and stressing that the US military was ready to respond to any “foolish or reckless acts” by the North.
Trump first announced his decision in a letter to Kim released by the White House, in which he cited “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent statement by the North, adding that it was “inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”
Speaking at the White House later, Trump said a “maximum pressure campaign” will continue against North Korea and that he was “waiting” should Kim choose to engage in “constructive” actions.
The abrupt cancellation of the June 12 meeting withdraws the U.S. for now from an unprecedented summit that offered the prospect of a historic nuclear peace treaty or an epic diplomatic failure. No sitting American president has ever met with a North Korea leader.