Why did Donald Trump cancel the North Korea summit with Kim Jong-un and when was the Singapore meeting agreed?


DONALD Trump wrote a letter to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un saying the historic meeting "will not take place".

So why has he scrapped the face-to-face talks, how did the prospect even come about and is there a chance they could be back on?AP:Associated Press

Donald Trump will become the first sitting US president to meet with a North Korean leader

Why did Donald Trump cancel the Kim Jong-un meeting?

President Donald Trump cited the "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent statement from North Korea.

The reclusive regime had referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" and said it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.

Of North Korea's nuclear rhetoric, Trump replied "ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used".

He finished by telling Kim "please do not hesitate to call me or write" should he change his mind about a one-on-one meeting.

Could the talks be back on?

The US leader said "very productive talks" are ongoing with North Korea over reinstating a summit with leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump initially called them off that had been due to take place on June 12.

But late on Friday, Mr Trump tweeted: "We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date."

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said at the Pentagon: "The diplomats are still at work on the summit, possibility of a summit, so that is very good news."

North Korea's vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said: "His sudden and unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is something unexpected to us and we can not but feel great regret for it."

When and where were Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un supposed meet?

The US president announced on Twitter that he would meet the North Korean leader in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

Donald Trump added: "We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!"

But on May 15, the scheduled summit was thrown into some jeopardy when Kim Jong-un threatened to pull out in a row over US military drills.

North Korea's propaganda agency also claimed that Pyongyang officials have axed high-level talks with Seoul in response to war games involving the US and South Korean forces.

 Some speculate that the North is trying to peel Washington away from its ally SeoulReuters Some speculate that the North is trying to peel Washington away from its ally Seoul

When was Mike Pompeo's secret meeting?

On April 17 Trump revealed top US officials have been holding direct talks with North Korea "at extremely high levels" to arrange a weapons summit between him and Kim Jong-un.

Unconfirmed reports from the US claimed CIA Director Mike Pompeo met with the North Korean leader over the Easter weekend.

We've also started talking to North Korea directly," he said at a photo session with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the American leader's retreat in Mar-a-Lago.

"We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels, with North Korea. And I really believe this allows good will, that good things are happening," said the President.

 Mike Pompeo has been the US Representative for Kansas's 4th congressional district since 2011Getty Images Mike Pompeo has been the US Representative for Kansas's 4th congressional district since 2011

Why were the two leaders meeting?

Some speculated that the North was trying to peel Washington away from its ally Seoul to weaken crippling sanctions and buy time for nuclear development.

North Korea still produces propaganda declaring its continuing dedication to the "treasured sword" of its nuclear programme.

Washington still remains publicly dedicated to annual war games alongside its partners in the South — games the North claims are a rehearsal for invasion.

North Korea is engaged in "a ploy to serve its own interests" and make Kim look like "a bold leader of a normal, peace-loving nuclear power," according to Duyeon Kim, a visiting research fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum think tank in Seoul.

North Korea has long sought to draw the US into talks in the hope it can establish a peace treaty to end the technically still-active Korean War and drive out all US troops from the Korean Peninsula.

A senior North Korean diplomat at the UN, Pak Song Il, said the invitation was the result of Kim's "broad minded and resolute decision" to contribute to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula.

Why was Singapore chosen as the location?

US officials had considered holding the summit at the Korean demilitarised zone or in Mongolia, but ultimately settled on the city-state of Singapore as the location.

According to CNN, the Trump administration officials were in favour of holding the meeting in Singapore to demonstrate neutrality.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House chief of staff John Kelly recognised that the summit location would play a large role in how the talks are viewed around the world, the broadcaster said.

The chief concern was the appearance of neutrality, both in the location's politics and its geography.

 Kim once referred to Trump was a 'senile dotard' and in retaliation, the US leader branded his counterpart 'Little Rocket Man'Reuters Kim once referred to Trump was a 'senile dotard' and in retaliation, the US leader branded his counterpart 'Little Rocket Man'

When is North Korea to begin dismantling its nuclear test site?

North Korea is set to begin tearing down its nuclear test site which will be marked by a ceremony due to take place between May 23-25, according to the country's state media KCNA.

KCNA said the dismantlement of the site would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking entrances and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

Journalists from other countries, including the US and South Korea will be invited to cover the event.

A recent study suggested significant parts of the Punggye-ri test site had already caved in.

But some observers argued sections may still be usable, based on analysis of satellite imagery.

Has a US president ever held talks with a North Korean leader?

This will be the first time a sitting US president has ever met with a North Korean leader.

Talks between the nations have previously been overseen by lower-level officials, but now they will start at the top.

It's anyone's guess what Trump and Kim might decide in the highest-level meeting in what has been essentially a bloody, seven-decade standoff between their countries.

The announcement followed weeks of softening ties between the Koreas orchestrated by the South Korean leader.

It culminated in a visit by Kim Jong Un's sister to the South to observe the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Then the South's national security adviser made a trip to meet with Kim in Pyongyang.

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