WASHINGTON – North Korean officials “stood up” their U.S. counterparts at a meeting in Singapore one week before President Donald Trump canceled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a senior White House official revealed Thursday.
“They waited and waited,” the official said, referring to U.S. officials awaiting the North Korean officials, “The North Koreans never showed up.” The U.S. advance team reportedly waited for three days, accordingto the Daily Beast. The official revealed that the North Koreans “have not responded” to repeated attempts to contact Pyongyang. The White House described North Korea’s actions as “a profound lack of good faith.”
The Trump administration says there has been a string of “broken promises” since the president agreed to meet Kim, and it was those failings on the part of the North Korean regime that led Trump to cancel the summit.
Last week, North Korea unexpectedly lashed out at the Trump administration, criticizing it for its unsatisfactory perceptions of North Korea. Pyongyang slammed Trump for proudly asserting that the maximum pressure campaign weakened North Korea and forced it to the table. The North considers itself a nuclear-armed state that fulfilled its missions in spite of sanctions. North Korea emphasized this by stressing that it would never trade its nuclear arsenal for sanctions relief.
I have decided to terminate the planned Summit in Singapore on June 12th. While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world… pic.twitter.com/jT0GfxT0Lc
In particular, the regime attacked White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, a man despised in Pyongyang, for stating that the U.S. had the Libya model in mind for North Korean denuclearization. Pyongyang objects to comparisons between North Korea — a nuclear-armed state with the ability to strike the U.S. — and Libya, a country that abandoned its nuclear weapons program early on in the development process. Libya’s vulnerable leadership was also overthrown and brutally executed by rebels.
When Vice President Mike Pence doubled down Monday on assertions from the president last week that Kim would likely face violent regime change reminiscent of the fate that befell Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi should he fail to make a nuclear deal, North Korea called the vice president a “political dummy” and threatened the U.S. with nuclear war.
In both instances, North Korea threatened to scrap the Trump-Kim summit.
The critical comments hurled at Pence were a “last straw,” White House officials told Reuters, adding, “The North Koreans literally threatened nuclear war in the statement released last night. No summit could be successful under these circumstances.”
While the president has expressed a desire to see talks get back on track, it seems that the situation is rapidly returning to one of rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
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