President Trump sent a letter to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, on May 24 informing the North Korean that the summit scheduled to take place between the two leaders in Singapore on June 12 will not take place. The tone of Trump’s letter was respectful and regretful, indicating that the president would have preferred to go ahead with the summit, but felt he had little choice but to cancel. Trump wrote, in part:
I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. 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.
The “recent statement” that Trump referred to in his letter was made by Choe Son-hui, a North Korean vice foreign minister, who said shortly before the release of the letter that whether the still-planned June 12 summit between Kim and Trump would take place depended on the “behavior of the United States.”
In her statement, Choe castigated Vice President Pence for remarks he made during a Fox News interview. She accused Pence of making “unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya, military option for North Korea never came off the table, the US needs complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, and so on.”
Choe continued by engaging in a little saber ratting:
Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States.
The above reference to a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” apparently prompted Trump to write in his letter: “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”
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