(RNN) – President Donald Trump cancelled a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore that was supposed to take place on June 12.
Trump said the U.S. military is “ready if necessary” for any “foolish acts” and that a “maximum pressure campaign will continue” in a news conference before signing the Dodd-Frank rollback legislation Congress passed earlier this week.
He also said there is a chance the “existing summit” may still take place or another summit may still take place.
The world was losing a “great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth,” Trump said.
The administration announced the summit was cancelled Thursday morning.
“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,” according to a statement released by the White House.
But Trump still offered a glimmer of hope for talks between the two countries.
“If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history,” the statement said.
The summit had been endangered recently because of rhetoric on both sides, with a top North Korean official calling Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy,” the Associated Press reported.
Choe Son Hui, a vice minister of foreign affairs, slammed on Thursday comments Pence made as “ignorant” and “stupid” that compared the country to Libya in an interview with Fox News, the Associated Press reported.
The insult came on the heels of John Bolton, the new national security adviser, saying the two sides had grown further apart.
North Korea rebuked Bolton who said on that the U.S. was using the “Libya model” as it sought to denuclearize North Korea.
“We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004,” Bolton said on Fox News on April 29.
The North African nation voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003, but it was the result of pressure from the West.
The United States and Europe later helped topple the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 by militarily backing rebel groups during the country’s civil war.
Libyans killed Gaddafi themselves amid the unrest. He was beaten to death while someone videotaped.
The summit cancellation seemed to surprise South Korea. “We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means,” spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said, the Washington Post reported.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday in a Capitol Hill meeting that the U.S. received no responses from North Korea to outreach on Singapore summit planning.
He didn’t respond when asked if the U.S. warned South Korea and Japan that Trump was backing out of the summit.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said more diplomacy needs to happen before any meeting takes place.
“Many of us feared that the summit … would be a great show that produced nothing enduring. If a summit is to be reconstituted, the U.S. must show strength and achieve a concrete, verifiable, enduring elimination of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear capabilities,” he said.
The cancellation comes despite the groundwork done by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited North Korea on at least two known occasions to set the stage for the meeting.
Pompeo visited the country on May 8 and returned the following day with three American hostages held in the country. Trump greeted them with cameras rolling.
Trump originally agreed in March to meet with Kim to discuss denuclearization.
The administration announced the summit after a White House briefing by South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong that included an invitation from Kim.
“President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization,” Chung said outside the West Wing. “He (Kim) expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.”
The White House also produced challenge coins for the now-cancelled summit, NPR reported.
A group of 19 Congressmen submitted Trump’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize based on Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea.
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