US President Donald Trump has cancelled a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying the world had “lost a great opportunity for lasting peace”.
After North Korea called VP Mike Pence a “political dummy,” Trump has canceled the North Korean Summit for what he considers, “tremendous anger and open hostility,” towards his people.
Mr Trump’s announcement came just hours after North Korea said it had dismantled tunnels at its only nuclear test site in a move witnessed by foreign reporters.
On ABC News, Bolton said he was proud of his past statements and then blundered mightily on Fox News Sunday.
“Yes, I think that’s what denuclearization means. We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004. There are obviously differences. The Libyan program was much smaller, but that was basically the agreement that we made.”
North Korea responded to his comments when Kim Kye-kwan, a vice foreign minister said this about Bolton, “and we do not hide our feelings of repugnance towards him.”
Then Mike Pence made things worse by threatening NOKO on Fox News:
Pence said, “”You know, there was some talk of the Libyan model last week. And as the president made clear, this will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.”
Martha replied, “Some people saw that as a threat.”
Pence, “I think it’s more of a fact.”
Diplomacy in disarray
Analysis by Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent
The Trump administration insists that North Korea was not responding sufficiently in the summit preparations, raising doubts that the meeting would be able to achieve a positive outcome.
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The big question is what happens now?
Prior to the thaw in relations between North and South Korea that began the process that led to the summit date, wild rhetoric was being exchanged between Pyongyang and Washington raising serious fears of a renewed conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
Will North Korea now resume its long-range ballistic missile testing? Will the war of words be renewed? Or might there be a slim chance of some kind of diplomatic process being maintained?
And finally, can relations between North and South Korea be insulated in any way from the growing tensions between Pyongyang and Washington?
What did Mr Trump say?
Mr Trump said he had been looking forward to the now-cancelled summit in Singapore on 12 June.
“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 the long-planned meeting,” Mr Trump said in a letter to Mr Kim.
“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,” he added.
But he called the meeting a “missed opportunity”, saying “someday, I look very much forward to meeting you”.
In a later statement at the White House, Mr Trump said the step was a “tremendous setback for North Korea and the world”, adding the US military was “ready if necessary” to respond to any “reckless” act from North Korea.
What was he referring to?
Mr Trump was apparently responding to statements from North Korea attacking his administration and casting doubt over the meeting.
Earlier on Thursday, North Korean official Choe Son-hui dismissed remarks by US Vice-President Mike Pence – who had said North Korea “may end like Libya” – as “stupid”.
Ms Choe, who has been involved in several diplomatic interactions with the US over the past decade, said the North would not “beg” for dialogue and warned of a “nuclear showdown” if diplomacy failed.
A White House official quoted by Reuters described the comments about Mr Pence as the “last straw”. They stressed, however, there was a “backdoor that’s open still”.
References to Libya have angered North Korea. There, former leader Colonel Gaddafi gave up his nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later.
#ThursdayThoughts #KimJongUn #NorthKoreaSummit
Due to the most recent threat (yesterday) from North Korea of Nuclear War with the US, President Trump has pulled out of the Summit With North Korea! "We are not going to play these games.."
— corey scott (@vtoast3) May 24, 2018
North Korea doesn't want the USA and south Korea doing military readiness drills, so no NK is being up nuclear war threats again
— Smiley Jones (@SmileyJones17) May 24, 2018
RT @cnni: A senior official says the threat of nuclear war from North Korea in their latest statement calling VP Mike Pence a "political dummy" was the final straw for the US ahead of the summit
— tinmyheart (@tinmyheart) May 24, 2018
What’s the reaction been?
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said “I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-US summit will not be held”, the Yonhap agency reported.
This year has seen improving ties between North and South Korea, with the leaders of both holding a summit just last month.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the US and North Korea should not give up, saying “nerves of steel” were required.
In the US, Republican Senator Tom Cotton praised President Trump for “seeing through Kim Jong-un’s fraud”. But Democratic Senator Brian Schatz said the move was what happened “when amateurs are combined with warmongers”.