WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has called off his planned June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a letter released by the White House on Thursday.
“I was very much looking forward to being there with you,” Trump said in the letter, “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.”
North Korea said its leader Kim had made utmost efforts to ensure the summit proceeded and was still hopeful of resolving issues with the US.
But Trump wrote a letter to Mr Kim to announce his abrupt withdrawal from what would have been a first-ever meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader in Singapore on June 12.
In the letter, Mr Trump wrote he felt it was “inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting” after “tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in North Korea’s most recent statement.
“Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place,” the letter read.
Kim Kye-gwan, Vice-Foreign Minister of North Korea, said Pyongyang was still open to resolving issues with the US whenever and however.
“We had set in high regards President Trump’s efforts, unprecedented by any other president, to create a historic North Korea-US summit,” said the Vice-Foreign Minister in a statement released by the North’s central news agency.
Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely
COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.
The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.
“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.