North Korea said on Friday it was still open to resolving problems with the United States “at any time in any way” despite President Donald Trump’s decision to call off a summit between the two countries next month.
“To announce the summit is cancelled was a surprise for us and we couldn’t help but feel it was a deep shame,” Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said, according to Reuters. “We had hoped a “Trump-style solution” would be a wise way to relieve worries from both sides, meet our demands and realistically resolve problems.”
On Thursday, Trump cancelled his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, scheduled in Singapore on June 12. The development came just hours after North Korea announced it had dismantled its nuclear bomb test site in Punngye-ri, a prerequisite for the talks.
Trump, in a letter to Kim, said he had been looking forward to the meeting, but the “tremendous anger and open hostility” in North Korea’s latest statement meant it was “inappropriate” to hold the meeting at this point in time. This could be a reference to the country’s criticism of United States Vice President Mike Pence’s comment that Pyongyang could end up like Libya if it fails to make a nuclear deal with Washington.
Trump later said the US military stood ready if Kim were to take any “foolish” action. When asked whether cancelling the summit increased the risk of war, Trump replied, “We’ll see what happens.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he regrets that the summit has been cancelled, but hopes dialogue can be resumed and the meeting eventually takes place, AFP reported. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had a major role in pacifying tempers in the run-up to the summit, said he was “perplexed”. He urged the two leaders to talk directly. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also urged the two countries to keep talking.