President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have differing interpretations of what doomed the planned nuclear summit.
A statement released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency and attributed to vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan expressed “great regret” for Trump’s “sudden and unilateral” announcement. It was “hard to guess” the reasons for the summit’s cancellation, Gwan said.
“It could be that he lacked the will for the summit or he might not have felt confident,” he adds.
Gwan said North Korea had “inwardly highly appreciated” Trump’s “bold” decision to meet with Kim Jong Un, but said Trump’s decision to cancel the summit is “not consistent with the desire of humankind for peace and stability in the world.”
Gwan also addressed a recent statement from North Korea’s vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui in which she called Vice President Mike Pence “a political dummy” for comparing North Korea to Libya, saying that the vice foreign minister’s comments were “just a reaction to the unbridled remarks made by the U.S. side which has long pressed the DPRK unilaterally to scrap nuclear program ahead of the DPRK-U.S. summit.”
Gwan continues by extending an olive branch to the United States:
We will to do everything we could for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and humankind, and we, broad-minded and open all the time, have the willingness to offer the U.S. side time and opportunity.
The first meeting would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased way would make the relations get better rather than making them get worse. The U.S. should ponder over it.
But President Trump is claiming the opposite on Twitter.
“Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea,” he wrote. “We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace.”
Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea. We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018
The president’s claim that the North Korean response was “warm and productive” ignores his role in canceling the summit. Yesterday, the president announced the cancellation in a letter addressed to Kim Jong Un which boasted of the United States’ nuclear capabilities.
“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,” the president wrote after condemning the North Korean leader for his “tremendous anger and “open hostility.”