North Korea says US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel next month’s summit with leader Kim Jong Un runs counter to the global community’s wishes for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Kye Gwan, a top official at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said Pyongyang was still willing to meet with the US, in comments published Friday by the country’s state-run media KCNA.
“We reiterate to the US that we are willing to sit face to face at any time and in any way,” said Kim, who has negotiated with US counterparts for years.
“I would like to conclude that President Trump’s statement on the North Korea-US summit is a decision that is not in line with the wishes of the who hope for the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula as well as the world.”
President Trump canceled the summit Thursday in a letter addressed to Kim Jong Un, citing recent hostile comments from top North Korean officials and concern over how Pyongyang’s willingness to give up its nuclear weapons. Trump said it would be “inappropriate” to have the summit given his concerns open the possibility that the two could still meet.
A letter from the President to Chairman Kim Jong Un: "It is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting." pic.twitter.com/3dDIp55xu1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 24, 2018
“If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting,” he said at the White House after the letter was released.
Trump canceled the talks just hours after North Korea detonated explosives at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the country’s north. International journalists, including a crew from CNN, watched as a series of explosions appear to destroy three of four tunnels at the site.
In the comments published on KCNA Friday, foreign ministry official Kim Kye Gwan said the “disgraceful” state of relations between the two countries showed how badly the summit was needed.
“Our Chairman said if he meets President Trump, he could have a good start and made every effort to prepare for this,” Kim said. He said the US administration’s “unilateral cancellation” of the summit was making Pyongyang “think again” about its recent efforts and “this path that we newly chose is right.”
“Our goal and will to do everything for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the mankind remains unchanged, and we are willing to give time and opportunity to the US, always with a big and open mind,” Kim said.