The Off-Again Meeting With North Korea

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The missive from Donald Trump - addressed to "his excellency", an unusual title for Mr Kim - begins a bit like a corporate form letter, thanking the North Korean leader for his "time, patience and effort".

In the letter, Mr Trump wrote he felt it was "inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting" after "tremendous anger and open hostility" displayed in North Korea's most recent statement.

It was a dramatic end to weeks of optimistic statements from Trump that by meeting with Kim he might succeed where previous US presidents had failed and persuade North Korea to give up a nuclear weapons program that now threatens the United States.

Foreign leaders reacted with dismay to the summit collapse, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressing "deep regret" and summoning top security aides for emergency talks. "We can also make the USA taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now", she said, warning that she would recommend Kim cancel the summit if USA officials didn't curb their language.

One senior official said there had been "a trail of broken promises" from North Korea "that has given the United States pause". The North Koreans never showed up.

The president writes that he is still looking forward to meeting the North Korean strongman (nuclear apocalypse notwithstanding).

"We got a lot of dial tones", Pompeo said, adding it was disappointing but "frankly not a surprise". Japan has demanded the return of citizens it says were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s.

Mr Pompeo said the North's attitude had changed markedly since he returned from a trip to Pyongyang earlier this month during which he met with Mr Kim and oversaw the release of three Americans being held there.

"We can expect North Korea will condemn the decision in strong terms and cast blame on the United States for throwing away a good thing through its actions", said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues.

Trump's move sent global share markets sharply lower before they regained some footing.

But after criticism from North Korea, Mr Trump cast doubt this week on whether the meeting would happen.

Trump calls off North Korea summit but keeps door open for future talks

North Korea also broke a promise to allow worldwide experts to witness the destruction of its nuclear test site, the White House official said, and only allowed journalists to observe the process. "The North Koreans did not tell us anything - they simply stood us up", said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

North Korea's announcement of its plan to destroy its only nuclear test site had been widely welcomed as a positive, if largely symbolic, step. Trump has said the USA would continue exerting maximum economic pressure on Kim and his regime.

In a letter to Kim, the Republican firebrand described the cancellation as a "missed opportunity" and a "truly sad moment in history". He urged Trump and Kim to talk directly.

"That promise was broken", the White House official said. She called Pence a "political dummy" for comparing North Korea-a "nuclear weapons state"-to Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi gave up his unfinished nuclear development program, only to be killed later by NATO-backed fighters".

"We tell the United States once more that we are open to resolving problems at any time in any way".

Mr Trump has shown time and time again that he won't abide verbal swipes from the North Koreans.

Trump's letter also referred to the possibility of war.

"You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God that they will never have to be used", he said.

North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons prompted fears of war a year ago after it said it tested an H-bomb and developed a missile capable of hitting the United States.

US Vice President Mike Pence listens to US President Donald J. Trump speak about cancelling the summit. Kim called Trump mentally deranged. "We have to get it right".

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