President Donald Trump will not meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month, he announced in a letter to Kim released by the White House Thursday morning, scrapping plans for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit.
North Korea could now take advantage of that situation to try and drive a wedge between South Korea and the US.
But North Korea's propaganda took a very aggressive line with the USA since Wednesday, threatening nuclear war and bashing Vice President Mike Pence.
In January, the then-CIA Director Pompeo predicted it would take North Korea just "a handful of months" to achieve that and have the capability of striking the US with nuclear weapons. By canceling, Trump might be hoping Kim will beg for a summit, making the terms more favorable for the United States.
The North has made rapid progress in its drive for nuclear arms in the last few years. This year though has seen warmer relations, including the release of three USA detainees in North Korea. But Pompeo told the Senate on Thursday that U.S. officials had also been having difficulty organising summit planning meetings with their North Korean counterparts, who had gone silent in recent days. The idea that the Trump administration should endorse a military solution-and a full-blown war if necessary-to degrade or destroy North Korea's nuclear-weapons program is acquiring a new prominence.
The big question is what happens now? "We can also make the USA taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now", she said, warning that she would recommend Kim cancel the summit if USA officials didn't curb their language.
Will North Korea now resume its long-range ballistic missile testing?
Washington's assessment that sanctions and military threats had cowed North Korea into seeking talks also proved wrong.
World affairs have been upended since Mr Trump came to office, but that would have been one out of the box, even in 2018. On Thursday, the White House cancelled a June 12 summit with the North Korean leader.
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Pompeo- US was ready but North Korea had gone silent on preparations
The official continued: "The President has said he someday looks forward to meeting with Kim".
Trump responded by cancelling the summit, saying in a letter to Kim, "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".
The U.S. president said the North Koreans talk about their nuclear capabilities, "but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used".
If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.
"The United States has over the past week made numerous attempts to communicate with the North Koreans but they have not responded", the officials said.
Trump also thanked Kim for the recent release of three Americans who were being held prisoners in North Korea, saying it was "a lovely gesture and was very much appreciated". "There's really not a lot of time", a senior White House official said. They stressed, however, there was a "backdoor that's open still". The verbal broadside against Pence was just the latest harshly worded statement from North Korea over the last 10 days. In this case, Trump had hastily accepted a North Korean offer of a meeting, and then agreed to a face-to-face summit within weeks. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.
Experts were critical of the summit, saying it gave North Korea what it wanted, legitimacy, without getting much in return.
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CNN added in a separate statement , "We understand the importance of an open and free press and we hope the EPA does, too". Some 200 people attended, including representatives of states, tribes and the chemical industry and environmentalists.