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  1. ITV Report

Donald Trump pulls out of landmark summit with North Korea

  • Video report by ITV News Washington correspondent Robert Moore

Donald Trump has pulled out a landmark summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" from the other side of the talks.

The US President announced the decision to withdraw from the planned landmark summit on 12 June in an open letter circulated by the White House, and again later in a speech.

Mr Trump said the decision to cancel their meeting was "for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world" as he issued a fresh warning to Pyongyang over America's nuclear might.

In a speech at the White House, the President said he believed Kim Kong-un "wanted to do the right thing" and urged him to seek "harmony, prosperity and peace" for the Korean peninsula, saying that talks could still happen at a later date.

But the 71-year-old warned that if Mr Kim did not commit to denuclearisation, the "very strong sanctions" and "maximum pressure campaign" against the secretive state would continue, and that the "very powerful" US military, along with South Korea and Japan, "are ready if foolish or reckless acts should be taken".

Donald Trump has warned Kim Jong-un to 'do the right thing'. Credit: PA

Mr Trump made a similar warning in his letter, in which he wrote: "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used."

The announcement follows a recent statement from the North Korean government calling Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" and saying it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.

"I was very much looking forward to being there with you," said Mr Trump's letter.

"Sadly, based in the tremendous anger and open hostility in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."

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However, Mr Trump suggested that a deal could still be salvaged, saying the two leaders have had a "wonderful dialogue" in recent weeks, and adding that "some day" he hopes they will meet.

The President's abrupt decision to withdraw from the bilateral summit threatens recent progress towards rebuilding international ties with North Korea and persuading its leaders to give up their nuclear weapons testing programme.

The highly isolated state earlier today carried out a series of explosions in front of international media in what it said was the destruction of a nuclear test site.

However, the country’s first vice foreign minister had also warned they would not take part in the summit if the discussions were to be a "one-sided" affair in which they were pressed to give up their nuclear weapons but offered little in return.

The US Government said it had not received replies to messages over preparations for the meeting. Credit: AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan says achieving a peaceful resolution to the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula will require "a much greater degree of seriousness" from Kim Jong-un.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US had received no responses from North Korea over preparations for the Singapore summit planning.

Mr Trump's decision to cancel the meeting was met with international shock and dismay, with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres saying he was "deeply concerned".

Richard Hass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, said the summit had always been "bound to fail" due to missteps by the Trump administration.

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One senior Democrat said it shows "the art of diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal."

Senator Bob Menendez, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it was "pretty amazing" that Mr Trump's administration would be shocked that North Korea "is acting as North Korea might very well normally act."

He adds: "I'm not sure that constantly quoting the Libya model is the diplomatic way to try to get to the results that we seek in North Korea because that didn't work out too well for Gadhafi."

Republican senator Ben Sasse said Mr Trump "made the right call", while Democrat Ed Markey urged the President to return to negotiations.

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