Trump hints that North Korea summit could still happen: 'Everybody plays games' - MRCAESAR.COM

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Friday, 25 May 2018

Trump hints that North Korea summit could still happen: 'Everybody plays games'


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Trump suggested Friday that he could still meet with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, despite canceling their summit in a letter one day earlier. (Evan Vucci Wong Maye-E/AP)
WASHINGTON — President 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.
"Everybody plays games," said Trump, who often boasts about his own negotiating tactics and skill.
The president, commenting as he left the White House for a commencement speech, said it was even possible the summit could take place on the originally planned June 12 date.
"They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it," he said.
Earlier Friday, in a tweet, he had called the North's reaction to his letter canceling the summit "warm and productive." That was far different from his letter Thursday to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang for the U.S. withdrawal.
The tone from both sides was warmer on Friday. First, North Korea issued a statement saying it was still "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format."
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's withdrawal "unexpected" and "very regrettable," and said the cancellation of the talks showed "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties."
Then Trump, in his response to that response, said it was "very good news," and "we will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!"
The president's surprise exit from the planned talks on Thursday had capped weeks of high-stakes brinkmanship between the two unpredictable leaders over nuclear negotiating terms for their unprecedented sit-down. The U.S. announcement came not long after Kim appeared to make good on his promise to demolish his country's nuclear test site. But it also followed escalating frustration — and newly antagonistic rhetoric — from North Korea over comments from Trump aides about U.S. expectations for the North's "denuclearization."
The White House has repeatedly offered mixed messages. Hours after releasing his cancellation letter on Thursday, the president declared, "I really believe Kim Jong Un wants to do what's right."
After that, however, a senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises ahead of the summit. Trump said from the White House that a "maximum pressure campaign" of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea — with which the U.S. is technically still at war — though he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point.
The senior U.S. official said the North violated a pledge to allow international inspectors to monitor the supposed implosion of the test site. International journalists were present, but the U.S. government can't verify the site's destruction. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid overshadowing Trump's comments Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch ally of Kim Jong Un, said the North Korean leader had in fact done "everything that he had promised in advance, even blowing up the tunnels and shafts" of the site. Putin said of Trump's cancellation announcement, "In Russia we took this news with regret."
On Friday, North Korea's vice foreign minister said his country's "objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged."
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