KIM Jong-un has urged Donald Trump to reconsider yesterday's decision to scrap weapons talks – as the Pentagon warned its military was ready "to fight tonight."
North Korea says it is still willing to sit down for talks with the United States "at any time" after the President abruptly cancelled his planned summit with Kim.
AP:Associated Press Trump pulled the plug on the meeting with North Korea blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang
Trump yesterday pulled the US out of the crucial meeting on June 12 after North Korea lashed out at Vice President Mike Pence, calling him "stupid and ignorant".
The President blamed "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang, despite it destroying its main nuclear testing site in front of a group of international journalists as a gesture of goodwill.
Relations between Trump and his opposite number in Pyongyang appeared to have thawed over recent months, with Kim inviting the president to meet in March.
In April, Trump announced that former CIA chief Mike Pompeo had met secretly with Kim in North Korea and that a “good relationship was formed”.
Donald Trump's relationship with Kim Jong un – what we know so far…
- US President Donald Trump announces historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong un in Singapore on June 12
- Former CIA chief Mike Pompeo holds secret meeting with Kim in North Korea and said a "good relationship was formed"
- Pyongyang claimed it had suspended nuclear missile tests and releases three Americans from prison
- Vice President John Pence infuriates North Korea by claiming it could face the same fate as Libya if it did not give up its nuclear weapons
- Pence's comments slammed as "stupid" by Pyongyang with senior officials warning they would not "beg for dialogue"
- Trump insists that unless Washington gets "certain conditions… we won't have the meeting"
- The president pulls the US out of the summit claiming he was not convinced Pyongyang was serious about reducing its nuclear capabilities
Reuters North Korea issued a statement Friday saying it is still "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format" Reuters Images showed North Korea's nuclear test site being destroyed Reuters Photographers and film crews record the destruction EPA A guard stationed at the opening to one of the tunnels which was later destroyed in the blast
While later in the month, Pyongyang claimed it had suspended nuclear missile tests and weeks later released three Americans from prison.
However, after the historic meeting was announced in June, yesterday’s move by Trump to cancel it represents another blow for their relationship.
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan issued a statement late on Thursday night saying North Korea is "willing to give the US time and opportunities" to reconsider talks.
Kim claimed North Korea's "objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged."
He called Trump's decision "unexpected" and "very regrettable," and said the cancellation shows "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-US relations is and how urgently a summit should be realised to improve ties."
AFP or licensors The entrance to a nuclear test tunnel at North Korea's Punggye-ri test facility pictured shortly before its demolition AFP or licensors Debris was scattered all over the place following the blasts
Destruction of North Korean nuclear test sites has now been revealed on camera
It is not known to how much of the Punggye-ri facility has been demolished, but a number of journalists invited to witness the destruction told of a number of explosions deep in the mountains
Tom Cheshire, of Sky News, said: "There was a huge explosion, you could feel it. Dust came at you, the heat came at you. It was extremely loud."
Earlier, US General Kenneth McKenzie revealed his forces in South Korea are now in "a high state of vigilance" following the collapse of nuclear weapons talks.
He added America is always prepared to respond to provocations from the North Koreans "because they have proven to be unpredictable in the past."
“In terms of we are ready to fight tonight – that's always been the case,” he said.
He spoke hours after Trump himself used a letter to Kim to tell him he was walking away from the talks, adding: "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used."
Trump also confirmed his military stood primed if Kim were to take any "foolish or reckless" actions.
American forces are "ready if necessary," he said at a White House bill signing event after he cancelled his much-heralded talks with the North Korean leader.
However he later tried to calm fears by adding "Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right."
AP:Associated Press Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, told reporters the U.S. military will be ready for any North Korean provocation such as a missile launch
Trump also said "we'll see what happens" when asked whether the cancellation of the meeting had raised the risk of war.
Ominously that's the exact phrase he used TWO DAYS before he launched a strike on Syria in response to a horrific chemical weapons attack
"I've spoken to (Defense Secretary) General Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world that has been greatly enhanced recently, as you all know, is ready if necessary," he said.
The President also revealed he's been in touch with South Korea and Japan and that both allies are willing to bear much of the financial burden "if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us."
Trump suggested this week that China was to blame for "a little change" in Kim's attitude. Kim paid a secret visit to his primary ally just before Pompeo's visit, and China is wary of any shift in the balance of power on the Korean peninsula
Earlier today the White House released a letter to the North Korean leader saying the summit planned for Singapore will not take place.
In personal letter from the President to the Chairman of the communist state Trump said he would not be going ahead with the meeting.
Trump called the cancellation a “tremendous setback” for peace and denuclearisation.
Trump wrote: "We greatly appreciate your time, patience and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore.
AFP or licensors In a letter sent to 'His Excellency Kim Jong-un' Trump said he would not be attending the scheduled meeting
"We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.
"I was very much looking forward to being there with you.
"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."
It is thought Trump may be referring to a verbal broadside launched against his VP Mike Pence by the North Korean vice foreign minister in which he was branded "ignorant and stupid".
The Donald went on to say that "some day, I look very much forward to meeting you".
Mike Pence: US President Donald Trump would be willing to walk away from North Korea summit AFP or licensors The North Korean vice foreign minister branded Mike Pence 'ignorant and stupid'
In the letter addressed to "His Excellency Kim Jong-un" Trump also made reference to the USA's "massive and powerful" nuclear weapons.
He added: "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.
"You talk about you nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used."
Earlier this week Trump had suggested there was "substantial chance" next month's meeting would not go ahead.
Meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in in the Oval Office yesterday he told reporters "If it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later."
The news comes on the same day North Korea seemingly carried out the planned demolition of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists today.
Earlier North Korea's vice foreign minister said the future of the summit between Pyongyang and Washington was "entirely" up to the United States.
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