President Donald Trump said on Sunday a U.S. delegation arrived in North Korea to “make arrangements” for the summit with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
“Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!” he tweeted.
The president cancelled the meeting, scheduled for June 12, on Thursday citing threats from Kim.
“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,” Trump wrote in a letter to Kim on Thursday.
The decision came on the same day as Pyongyang reportedly blowing up tunnels used for nuclear testing. Just hours before Trump canceled the summit, North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui issued a statement slamming Vice President Mike Pence over comments he made Monday, and threatened to cancel the meeting. Pence said the North Korean government could end up like Libya if Kim didn’t make a deal on nuclear weapons.
Despite calling off the summit last week, the administration had left open the possibility of a meeting taking place – something one expert says the Hermit Kingdom desperately needs.
“They need sanctions relief,” Gordon Chang, author of “Nuclear Showdown” told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “They certainly don’t want the United States to take out their nuke and their missile facilities. And Kim wants legitimization, of course – meeting President Trump – and also, he needs a counterweight to the Chinese.”