Washington: Hours after North Korea dismantled its nuclear test sites on Thursday, American President Donald Trump announced he will not attend the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled to be held in Singapore on June 12.
In a letter sent to Kim on Thursday, Trump said the summit would no longer be possible "based on the tremendous anger and open hostility" shown by Pyongyang in its most recent statement.
"The world and North Korea have lost a tremendous opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth," Trump wrote. "This missed opportunity is truly a sad moment in history."
"I was very much looking forward to being there with you," Trump said in the letter posted on Twitter by The White House. "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."
“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only the dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated,” Trump wrote in the letter.
Earlier in the day North Korea threatened to walk away from the proposed summit with US President Donald Trump, if Washington continues to do what it described as "unlawful and outrageous acts" that could damage Pyongyang's "goodwill".
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said on Thursday that her country "will neither beg the US for dialogue, nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us", according to the Korean Central News Agency.
"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", she added.
Uncertainty loomed large over Trump Kim summit last Wednesday when North Korea canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea over military exercises between Seoul and Washington. During the meeting, the two countries were expected to discuss ways to implement their leaders’ recent agreements to reduce military tensions along their heavily fortified border and improve their overall ties.
In the declaration published by state media, North Korea had also threatened to scrap the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
"If the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue. In that case, Pyongyang would have to "reconsider" its participation at the summit, due in Singapore on June 12", first vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The minister also blasted US National Security Advisor John Bolton's talk of a "Libyan model" for North Korean denuclearisation. It was a "sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq", he said. "I cannot suppress indignation at such moves of the US, and harbour doubt about the US sincerity."
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, the US aircraft mobilised for the military drills include nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and stealth F-22 fighter jets - two of the US military assets it has previously said are aimed at launching nuclear strikes on its territory.
The military drills called ‘Max Thunder’ are taking place between the US and South Korea air forces. The statement by KCNA called the two-week drill, which began Monday and reportedly included about 100 aircraft, an “intended military provocation” and an “apparent challenge” to the summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held in April 2018.
“The United States must carefully contemplate the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit amid the provocative military ruckus that it’s causing with South Korean authorities,” Pyongyang said. “We’ll keenly monitor how the United States and South Korean authorities will react.”
North Korea had on Thursday carried out what it said was the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists. The demolition happened at the Punggye-ri site deep in the mountains of the North's sparsely populated northeast.
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