North Korea Says It Remains Willing to Meet With U.S. Any Time 

Source: North Korea Says It Remains Willing to Meet With U.S. Any Time – Bloomberg

 Updated on 
( Don’t fuck with the Donald… – JW )

Trump Says He Decided to Cancel Summit With North Korea’s Kim.

North Korea said it was surprised by President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un and it remains willing to meet with the U.S. at any time.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said Friday that his country still wants to pursue peace and said it would give Washington more time to reconsider talks. He added that North Korea “inwardly highly appreciated” Trump for agreeing to the summit, and hoped the “Trump formula” would help lead to a deal between the adversaries.

“The first meeting would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased way would make the relations get better rather than making them get worse,” Kim said in a statement carried Friday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. “We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time.”

Trump speaks about the canceled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on May 24.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The statement appeared designed to get the summit back on track after Trump abruptly canceled the Singapore meeting, citing “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent statements from Pyongyang. Asian stocks pared opening losses after the olive branch from North Korea as investors weighed the likelihood of a return to missile tests and military threats that raised tensions last year.

“We will likely see, at best, tensions rise,” said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues. “At worst, we will see renewed discussion in Washington of military options.”
Trump said he had spoken with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the leaders of South Korea and Japan. He called the collapse of his planned summit with Kim “a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world,” adding that the U.S. military is ready if necessary in the event of a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. president also held out hope that he and Kim could meet in the future: “Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right,” he said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there were “a lot of dial tones” as the U.S. sought to work out logistics with North Korea to hold the summit.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In said that peace on the peninsula shouldn’t be abandoned and suggested that Trump and Kim hurt chances for a successful summit by speaking to each other through statements, tweets and spokespeople.

“It’s hard to resolve the diplomatic issue, which is both difficult and sensitive, with the current way of communication,” Moon said in a statement. “I wish the leaders would have a more direct and closer conversation to deal with it.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that making progress on nuclear, missile and abductee issues is more important than holding a summit. China wasn’t surprised by the collapse of the summit given recent signals that had come from Trump, said a government official who asked not to be identified commenting on the matter.

Kim Jong Un with Xi Jinping in Dalian in early May.

Photographer: Xinhua/Ju Peng via Getty Images

“I can imagine Seoul will hustle to try and bring the two leaders together again because Moon really needs a U.S.-North Korea summit and diplomatic process to happen on the nuclear front in order for him to drive and achieve his peace agenda,” said Duyeon Kim, a visiting senior research fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul. “A summit will eventually happen if Pyongyang still wants a summit, shows it still wants a summit, practices restraint, and plays nice before the two leaders meet.”

John Bolton

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

North Korea hardened its rhetoric toward the U.S. earlier Thursday, lashing out after remarks by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House national security adviser, John Bolton, that had linked the country with Libya. Choe Son Hui, vice-minister of foreign affairs, called Pence “stupid” and a “political dummy,” according to an English-language statement from KCNA.

Trump then issued his own threat in a letter to Kim. “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 wrote.

The timing of Trump’s letter may be an additional embarrassment to North Korea, as the country made a show of demolishing its main nuclear-weapons test site earlier on Thursday before a select group of foreign journalists. The exercise was portrayed as the destruction of tunnels used for all six of North Korea’s nuclear tests, but there was no independent verification that the site was disabled.

Read more: Ahead of letter, North Korea scraps nuclear site

The site’s closure doesn’t preclude North Korea from using other potential sites for testing or conducting atmospheric nuclear tests, said Van Jackson, a strategy fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.

“North Korea has reached a point with both its nuke and missile programs that testing isn’t essential,” said Jackson, a former U.S. Department of Defense adviser. “Missile reliability would benefit from more testing, but they have a ‘good enough’ strike capability at this point.”

— With assistance by Andy Sharp, Keith Zhai, Kanga Kong, Nick Wadhams, Margaret Talev, Sam Kim, Toluse Olorunnipa, and Colin Keatinge

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