President Donald Trump on Friday warmly welcomed North Korea's promising response to his abrupt withdrawal from the potentially historic Singapore summit and said "we're talking to them now" about putting it back on track.
The presidential Blue House said it was trying to figure out Mr Trump's intentions in cancelling the summit. Beijing had backed the summit and was possibly taken unawares with the cancellation following heated exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang this week.
January 1: Following months of provocative weapons tests that included the detonation of a purported thermonuclear warhead and three long-range missile launches, Kim says in his New Year's address that he has a nuclear button on his desk but also calls for improved relations with South Korea.
President Donald Trump says North Korea's latest statement on nuclear talks is "good news" and that "we will soon see where it will lead".
"Under the current circumstances we hope both the DPRK and the United States can cherish the recent positive progress, stay patient, show goodwill, move in the same direction and continue to stay committed to promoting the denuclearisation of the peninsula", he added.
China is North Korea's key ally and economic benefactor and is certain to have played a crucial role in the evolving ties between Washington and Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, commenting on what lies ahead, Dr Sojin Lim, a senior lecturer in Korean studies told The Independent that "It will now be up to South Korea to try to bring the two countries back into some sort of dialogue - however, North Korea's burgeoning relationship with China means that it is now far less dependent on the USA, so it will be even more hard to re-establish negotiations between the two countries". "It would be wise for both sides to exercise a level of restraint and avoid using excessive action against one another", the nationalistic tabloid Global Times said in an editorial on Friday.
The KCNA piece even seemed to flatter Trump, stating of the summit: "We have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other USA presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit". And after initially projecting calm in the face of North Korea's escalating rhetoric, he made a sudden about face, though his letter also waxed poetic about the "wonderful dialogue" emerging between the two leaders.
First, North Korea issued a statement saying it was still "willing to give the USA time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format".
President Trump's attack on Democrats came the same day he said the summit with North Korea could still happen
Trump's fortunes seemed to shift Friday, as the North Korean government said it is still "willing to give the USA time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format".
"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", read Trump's letter to Kim.
Trump announced his decision in a letter to the North Korean leader, which was released Thursday hours after veteran North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui called Pence a "political dummy" for invoking the so-called "Libya model" for giving up a nuclear weapons program. That could prompt retaliation by Xi, who has also rebuilt his country's "strategic" bond with North Korea in the recent diplomatic flurry. Putin said of Trump's cancellation announcement, "In Russia we took this news with regret".
The North Korean government on Friday said it is still "willing to give the USA time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format". In April, Trump had stunned the world by accepting an invitation to meet Kim in an unprecedented sit-down.
Senior White House officials who went to Singapore to meet their North Korean counterparts last week were stood up, officials said.
"There will have to be a deal to get us to that point".
But many felt the Trump administration was rushing into a summit too quickly, with insufficient preparation.
However, Trump's decision hasn't come as a complete shock for those who have been following-up the constant back-and-forth from both sides in the run-up to the June meeting. It often doesn't get mentioned but Donald Trump actually blames China for some of this impasse.
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The nuclear disarmament of the North was the major point of discussion between the United States and the South Korean leaders. The demolition is due to take place sometime between Wednesday and Friday, depending on the weather, according to the North.
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