- North Korea said it is willing to meet with the US to “resolve issues,” after President Donald Trump canceled his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
- A North Korean official said it was willing to “sit down face-to-face” with the US.
- The summit had been planned for June 12 in Singapore. It would have been the first time a sitting US president met with a leader of North Korea.
North Korea said it is willing to meet with the US to “resolve issues,” after President Donald Trump canceled his meeting with that country’s leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday.
“We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the US and resolve issues anytime and in any format,” a North Korean official reportedly said in a statement published by the country’s state-run propaganda arm.
Trump nixed the planned June 12 summit with Kim, citing what he described as “tremendous anger and open hostility” stemming from Pyongyang’s recent public statements.
In a letter to Kim on Thursday morning, Trump said it was “inappropriate, at this time” to hold the summit, but left the possibility open in the future.
“I was very much looking foward to being there with you,” Trump said in the letter.
But Pyongyang sought to put the onus back on the US. The North Korean official warned that the security of the world was in Trump’s hands: “Our commitment to doing our best for the sake of peace and stability for the world and the Korean Peninsula remains unchanged, and we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the US,” the North Korean official’s statement said.
North Korea typically conveys its propaganda messages through state-run media outlets. The messages are often directed at US and South Korean officials, and they generally exaggerate the regime’s grievances.
“I want to conclude that President Trump’s stance on the North-US summit does not meet the world’s desire for peace and stability both in the world and on the Korean Peninsula,” the official said.
North Korea’s conciliatory overtures took a sharp turn after it sounded off on the scheduled US-South Korean joint military exercises, and snapped at US national security adviser John Bolton over some worrisome remarks he made regarding the future of North Korea.
But the White House insisted that the diplomatic breakdown was North Korea’s fault. On Thursday, a White House official confirmed reports that North Koreans ghosted their US counterparts by failing to show up for a planned pre-summit meeting in Singapore.
“There has been a trail of broken promises that gave the United States pause,” a White House official told reporters, according to South Korean media outlet Yonhap News.
“A strange lack of judgment combined with broken promises over the past weeks and North Korea’s suspension of direct communication with the United States suggests a profound lack of good faith,” the official added.