President Donald Trump cancelled his widely-hyped meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after officials in the foreign government threatened they could “make the U.S. taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined.”
“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,” Trump wrote in a letter. “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.”
Trump cancels on Singapore meeting via letter to Kim pic.twitter.com/PBgcijjEgE
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 24, 2018
Late Wednesday, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs had warned that if the U.S. called off the June 12 talks, a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” may ensue. The verbal threat came just hours before North Korea blew up its nuclear test tunnels in an ostensibly conciliatory effort.
Trump confirmed in the correspondence he's open to continuing conversation with North Korea and invited Kim to call to reschedule.
“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters,” he wrote, adding thanks for the release of U.S. hostages. “Some day I look very much forward to meeting you.”
The meeting was initially announced with confidence but became increasingly uncertain as tension flared between North Korea, South Korea and the U.S. over military exercises conducted by the latter two.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell sharply but less than 1 percent on the news.
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Photo by Emily Elconin.