US & World

Trump calls off summit meeting with North Korean leader

President Donald Trump welcomes South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the White House in Washington on Tuesday ahead of a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
President Donald Trump welcomes South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the White House in Washington on Tuesday ahead of a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

President Trump has called off a highly-anticipated June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"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."

Trump's decision comes hours after North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, in remarks carried on the country's official KCNA news service, said it would not "beg the U.S. for dialogue" and warned that it could make Washington "taste an appalling tragedy."

Hui also called Vice President Pence a "political dummy" and characterized recent comments he made suggesting that North Korea could end up like Libya if doesn't come to the bargaining table as "ignorant and stupid."

"We will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us," Choe said, according to KCNA.

"Whether the U.S. 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 said.

"As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice president," Choe said.

"In case the U.S. offends against our goodwill and clings to unlawful and outrageous acts, I will put forward a suggestion to our supreme leadership for reconsidering the DPRK-US summit," she added.

Within days of a summit between the North and South Korean leaders last month, optimism about the Trump-Kim meeting began to fade.

National Security Adviser John Bolton suggested in an interview on CBS that Libya could provide a model for North Korean denuclearization. The comments, with their connotations of violent regime change, did not sit well with Pyongyang.

Then North Korea, which had pledged "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula at the summit, reverted its long-held stance that it would not accept "unilateral denuclearization."

In a Fox News interview that aired on Monday, Pence, in an effort to clarify Bolton's remarks, said that North Korea would end up like Libya only if "Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal."

Choe fired back: "In view of the remarks of the US high-ranking politicians who have not yet woken up to this stark reality and compare the DPRK to Libya that met a tragic fate, I come to think that they know too little about us."

"To borrow their words, we can also make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now," she added.