Zerohedge
Zerohedge

Trump Calls Off Historic Meeting With North Korea’s Kim

05/24/2018

While probably not a huge surprise following the recent escalation in US and North Korean diplomatic outbursts, which last night culminatedwith a top North Korean official calling Mike Pence a “political dummy”, and warning that if the upcoming summit between the US and North Korea is called off, the U.S. could instead face off with North Korea in a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown”, moments ago Trump stunned the world when he sent a letter to Kim Jong Un, calling off the June 12 Singapore meeting, stating that “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.

 

The letter also contained the usual terms of endearment such as:

  • The warning: 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 trolling: “Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.
  • The loss (yours, not ours): The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.
  • And of course, don’t forget to write… sometime: “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

Whether this is simply another diplomatic gambit on behalf of the White House, hoping to force China to get Kim to “play nice”, with the prodding of South Korea which has everything to lose and nothing to gain from a collapse in the summit, remains unclear, and will depend on the response from North Korea, which earlier today just “demolished” its already destroyed nuclear research center.

Speaking at the White House at a bill signing ceremony hours after sending the letter, Trump said that “while many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead, potentially, I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world.”

Trump also said he had spoken with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the leaders of South Korea and Japan. The U.S. military is “ready if necessary,” he said, and the two Asian allies “are not only ready should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea, but they are willing to shoulder much of the financial cost or burden” of a conflict.

Still, suggesting that today’s surprise announcement is just a negotiating tactic, Trump also “held out hope” that the June 12 summit in Singapore could get back on track, or that he and Kim could meet in the future. “Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.

Trump sounded a positive note as he left a bill signing event, telling reporters “the dialogue was good until recently” with Kim. And “Kim Jong Un wants to do what’s right,” adding, “I really believe that. It’s only recently that this has been taking place and I think I understand why it’s been taking place,” he said. He declined to explain further, but Trump said earlier this week that planning for the summit had been proceeding well until Kim met May 8 with his closest ally, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is negotiating a trade dispute with Trump.

Oh, and a Chinese official told Bloomberg that Beijing is not surprised by the collapse of the summit given the recent signals that had come from Trump.

Full letter below:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.

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 this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. 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.

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.

If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. 

The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.

The original:

 

To all those who bought the commemorative Trump-Kim meeting coin, our condolences:

And as we await North Korea’s response, now that diplomacy has once again failed, the “Libya scenario” appears to be official in play.

Judging by the market’s response, the worst case scenario is back front and center.

 

North Korea Comes Crawling Back: Stresses “Desperate Need” For Summit “Whenever, However”

05/24/2018

Update: As if the earlier begging was not enough, it appears Kim wants to make sure that President Trump is aware of his efforts and desire to meet.

Yonhap reports that North Korea’s state media said Friday the demolition of its only known nuclear test site has demonstrated its “peace-loving” efforts and pursuit of a “total halt” to nuclear tests.

As we detailed yesterday, North Korea officially demolished the test-site overnight, inviting a number of reporters to witness the event.

And today, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in English.

“The dismantlement of the nuclear test ground is a vivid manifestation of the DPRK government’s fixed peace-loving stand to join in the international aspiration and efforts for total halt to the nuclear test and make positive contribution to building a nuclear free world,”

The KCNA added that the demolition of the tunnels and other surrounding facilities, including a communications center, power systems and observation centers, was carried out “completely” and “with transparency.”

*  *  *

It appears that Trump “jilted North Korean lover” approach may have been just what the doctor ordered.

Literally minutes after we said that most experts expected a violent, angry outburst from North Korea’s president in response to Trump’s unexpected cancellation of the Singapore June 12 summit, such as this comment from Senator Jack Reed…

Senator Jack Reed
@SenJackReed

Sen. Reed Reacts to Scrapped U.S.-North Korea Summit

Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, gives his thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump pulling out of the planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He speaks with Bloomberg’s…

bloomberg.com

… a shocked North Korea is virtually begging for a meeting.

In a statement issued by state-run Korean Central News Agency, citing Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea announced it was willing to sit with the U.S. “whenever, however” through any method to try to resolve the outstanding issues.

Gwan said that whereas President Trump’s announcement to one-sidedly cancel the planned summit is unexpected and very regrettable, “North Korea’s goal and will to do everything for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and mankind remains unchanged, and we are always willing to give time and opportunity to the US side with a big and open mind,” according to the statement. He added that “We express our intent that there is a willingness to sit at any time, in any way to resolve issues” and noted that President Trump’s decision to cancel the summit is “not what the world wants” and the summit is necessary to resolve the current hostile bilateral relationship.

Furthermore, North Korea appears to be backtracking on the recent diplomatic escalation and has effectively apologized, stating that “its previous remarks regarding the U.S.-North Korea summit had been in protest against strong US remarks towards North.

While we await the full KCNA statement, here are the key bullet points courtesy of Reuters and Bloomberg:

  • NORTH KOREA SAYS TRUMP’S SUMMIT CANCELLATION IS UNEXPECTED
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS IT’S WILLING TO MEET WITH U.S. AT ANY TIME
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS IT IS STILL WILLING TO RESOLVE ISSUES WITH UNITED STATES WHENEVER, HOWEVER
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS U.S.-N.KOREA SUMMIT IS NECESSARY TO RESOLVE CURRENT HOSTILE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS IT HAD WISHED `TRUMP MODEL’ COULD RESOLVE ISSUES
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS IT HAD HOPED FOR ISSUES REGARDING N.KOREA TO BE RESOLVED “TRUMP-STYLE”
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS NO CHANGE IN N. KOREA’S WILL TO DO BEST FOR PEACE
  • NORTH KOREA SAYS ITS PREVIOUS REMARKS REGARDING U.S.-N.KOREA SUMMIT HAD BEEN IN PROTEST AGAINST STRONG U.S. REMARKS TOWARDS NORTH
  • N.KOREA HAS WILLINGNESS TO GIVE CHANCE, TIME TO U.S.
  • NORTH KOREA HAS WILLINGNESS TO GIVE CHANCE, TIME TO U.S.

And the punchline:

  • NORTH KOREA SAYS CURRENT SITUATION REFLECTS DESPARATE NEED FOR SUMMIT

….

And now the ball is in Trump’s court.