WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/CNN) – President Donald Trump has canceled his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 5,520 New Cases, 9 Deaths Reported On Sunday
In a letter to Kim, Trump wrote that it would be “inappropriate” to hold the planned historic summit.
“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting,” he wrote.
The summit was to take place June 12th in Singapore.
Trump did leave the door open to a future meeting.
“I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Someday, I look very much forward to meeting you,” he wrote.
“If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me,” he added.
Trump’s decision to withdraw from the summit came after a North Korean vice minister of foreign affairs slammed Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday as a “political dummy” in a harshly worded statement from Pyongyang.
Trump and his aides were infuriated by the statement and wanted to respond forcefully. The specific and personal targeting of Pence is what irked US officials, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The verbal broadside against Pence was just the latest harshly worded statement from North Korea over the last 10 days. Early last week, North Korea canceled a planned meeting with South Korea and threatened to pull out of the Singapore summit because of ongoing US-South Korean military exercises.
The collapse of the summit was not entirely a surprise, even if Thursday’s announcement was abrupt. North Korea has offered diplomatic openings to the United States several times over the past decades, only to return to bellicose threats. Even after Trump accepted Kim’s invitation to meet in March, most administration officials put the likelihood of the summit actually happening at less than 50% — and administration officials grew increasingly skeptical over the last week.
US officials had also grown increasingly skeptical of Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearization. On Wednesday, CNN reported the Trump administration was looking to have additional high-level talks for assurances from Kim for complete denuclearization before the summit went ahead.
Hours later, a North Korean official lashed out at Pence and said Pyongyang is ready for a nuclear showdown if dialogue with the United States fails.READ MORE: Former President Trump Targets McConnell, Pence During Speech To GOP Donors
Choe Son Hui, a vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said if the US continued on its current path, she would suggest to North Korea’s leadership that they reconsider the planned summit between Trump and Kim.
“Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” Choe said in comments carried by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency Thursday.
Choe was responding to comments by Pence made Monday during a Fox News interview that she deemed “unbridled and impudent.”
Pompeo Raises Possibility Of New North Korea Sanctions
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested on Thursday new sanctions could be in the works for North Korea, even as he expressed hope the country would return to the negotiating table for direct talks following President Trump’s decision to cancel the summit with Kim Jong-un.
“My sense was that we hadn’t taken much of a pause,” Pompeo told lawmakers of the administration’s so-called “pressure campaign” to put economic pressure on the regime in Pyongyang. He specifically cited efforts the US was taking to get other countries to expel North Korean guest workers and intercept illicit transfers of sanctioned materials.
“So I think we have been continuing that even up through today, as we were contemplating the June 12th summit,” said Pompeo, adding he was “sure there are additional sanctions that we will seek to put in place.”
Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just minutes after the White House said Trump was canceling the summit.
Pompeo, who traveled to North Korea and met with Kim Jong-un earlier this month, suggested the North Koreans had been unresponsive in recent days.
“We got a lot of dial tones,” he said.
Earlier in his testimony, Pompeo said the administration was working to chart a “path forward” and continue its pressure campaign, but he expressed hope that Kim would ultimately re-engage with the United States.
“I hope we are able to quickly get back to that place, but ultimately Chairman Kim will have that decision to make for himself,” said Pompeo. “As the President said, we welcome their call, their outreach, to head back down that path.”MORE NEWS: ‘Work Gyms’ Helping Remote Employees Be More Productive
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)