SUMMIT SAVED? Jim Mattis ‘VERY OPTIMISTIC’ Korean Summit Will Take Place

Charlene Craig
May 26, 2018

"They very much want to do it". Trump cited "open hostility" from the North as his reason for backing out.

USA defense and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental US with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other USA officials have said they would not tolerate.

Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea's first vice-minister of foreign affairs, accused the United States of "trying to drive us into a corner" and declared that North Korea was not interested in "unilateral nuclear abandonment".

"The two leaders exchanged their opinions candidly to implement the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration and to have a successful North Korean-US summit", said a statement from Moon's office on Saturday.

The details of the now scrapped talks were unclear. "The North showed there is no change in its commitment to bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula".

But relations between the rival Koreas chilled in recent weeks, with North Korea canceling a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in regular military exercises with the United States and insisting that it will not return to talks unless its grievances are resolved. "And if they are they are ready to do that then ... we're certainly ready to have those conversations".

"Everybody plays games", said Trump, who often boasts about his own negotiating tactics and skill. Here is where Trump must avoid a clear trap by Kim, as he is likely to demand the meeting be held in North Korea-the optics proving he has defeated his imperialist enemy for good.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters diplomats were "still at work" and said Mr Trump had just sent a note out on the summit, which could be back on "if our diplomats can pull it off".

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Trump's initial cancellation of the summit blindsided treaty ally Seoul, with President Moon Jae-in calling the move "shocking and very regrettable".

It was personally addressed to Mr Kim. Indeed, the diplomatic fallout from a collapse in talks could be so severe that Trump may feel politically he may have no choice but to strike with all the fallout-geopolitically as well as atomically-that comes with it.

Trump welcomed the conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks after on Thursday he called off a summit with North Korea's autocratic leader, Kim Jong Un.

"You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used", he added.

"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", Trump wrote in a tweet late Friday.

Kyodo News reported senior North Korean officials were also seen en route to Singapore.

The surprise meeting highlighted Moon's efforts to get the historic summit back on track, and showed inter-Korea relations are in a far better state than those between Washington and Pyongyang.

What Mr Trump was referring to?

He's made a decision to end the North Korean nuclear program.

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Such projects are likely to have suffered under global and USA sanctions, imposed on the North as a reaction against its nuclear programme and missile tests.

The White House said Trump dictated the letter himself. They stressed, however, there was a "backdoor that's open still".

In many respects, what North Korea is doing is throwing the ultimate Hail Mary pass-and Donald Trump is 90 yards downfield with three all-start cornerbacks defending him.

North Korea says that, unlike Libya, it is a fully fledged nuclear state.

The leaders of North and South Korea met Saturday for a second time, South Korea's presidency announced.

Mr. Trump's announcement set off a head-spinning series of maneuvers from governments.

Both Pence and Trump's hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton had raised the specter of Libyan leader Muammar Khadafi, who gave up atomic weapons only to die years later at the hands of US-backed rebels.

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