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Iran Press TV

Trump leaves open possibility of June 12 summit with North Korea

Iran Press TV

Fri May 25, 2018 02:08PM

US President Donald Trump says it is still possible a planned summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un takes place on June 12 as originally scheduled.

"We're going to see what happens," Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, one day after he canceled the highly anticipated meeting.

"It could even be the 12th," he said referring to the original June 12 date set for the summit in Singapore.

"We're talking to them now," Trump said of the North Koreans. "They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it. We'll see what happens."

Earlier, Trump welcomed Pyongyang's response to his decision to call off the high-stakes summit.

The North Korean government said early Friday it was still willing to talk "at any time," after Trump cancelled the highly anticipated meeting, following what he called "tremendous anger and open hostility" by North Korea toward the United States.

"Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea," Trump tweeted on Friday.

"We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!"

Trump also said "Democrats are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea" and accused them of "coming to the defense" of members of the gang MS-13, an apparent reference to criticism when Trump recently referred to them as "animals" and "not people."

"The abrupt announcement of the cancellation of the meeting is unexpected for us and we cannot but find it extremely regrettable," Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister, said in a Friday statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"We reiterate to the U.S. that there is a willingness to sit down at any time, in any way, to solve the problem," the North Korean official said.

On Tuesday, Trump expressed doubts about the meeting taking place as scheduled when he hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House.

Moon's visit to the US was originally arranged as a meeting to fine-tune a joint strategy for dealing with North Korea but instead became more of a crisis session after Pyongyang last week threatened to scrap plans for the summit.

The summit announcement came after several months of unprecedented cordial diplomacy between South and North Koreas, which had been adversaries for decades. Moon has been acting as a go-between in diplomatic efforts for the potential holding of the summit between the US and North Korea – also long-time foes.

'Shocking and very regrettable'

South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized Trump's cancellation of the summit, calling the move "shocking and very regrettable."

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said South Korea would continue talking to the North Korean government which he believed "remains sincere in implementing the agreement and making efforts on denuclearization and peace building."

China urges US, DPRK to 'show goodwill'

China, North Korea's major ally, called on North Korea and the US to "show goodwill."

"The recent easing situation on the peninsula is hard won, the political settlement process is faced with a rare historic opportunity," Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters on Friday.

"We believe as the parties directly engaged on the issue, the summit of North Korea and US can play a crucial role for promoting the denuclearisation of the peninsula," Lu said.

"Under the current circumstances we hope both North Korea and the US can cherish the recent positive progress, stay patient, show goodwill, move in the same direction and continue to stay committed to promoting the denuclearization of the peninsula," he added.

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