US President Donald Trump has cancelled the planned June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, citing the “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent statement from North Korea.
Mr Trump said in a letter to Mr Kim released by the White House that based on the statement, he felt it was “inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting”.
The president said the North Koreans talk about their nuclear capabilities “but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used”.
He said in the letter that the world is losing a “great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth” now that the summit has been cancelled.
Mr Trump added: “This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.”
In the statement cited by Mr Trump, the North Korean government referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a “political dummy” and said it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.
Mr Trump told Mr Kim “please do not hesitate to call me or write” should he change his mind about a one-on-one meeting.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said North Korea did not respond to repeated requests from US officials to discuss logistics for the now-cancelled summit.
Mr Pompeo told the Senate foreign relations committee that the lack of response was an additional reason for Mr Trump’s decision to call off the meeting.
He said: “We had received no response to our inquiries from them.”
Mr Pompeo said the North’s attitude had changed markedly since he returned from a trip to Pyongyang earlier this month, when he met with Mr Kim and secured the release of three American prisoners being held there.