Now it is almost certain that US-North Korea summit will not take place on June 12 in Singapore. After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s recent remarks putting the summit in shadow, US President Donald Trump has almost confirmed the event is not taking place as scheduled.
While briefing media alongside with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, Trump responded to a question about the preparations for the summit saying, “There’s a very substantial chance that it won’t work out. That doesn’t mean that it won’t work out over a period of time, but it may not work out for June 12.”
In the wake of recent US-South Korea “2018 Max Thunder” joint drill North Korean state media quoted vice foreign minister Kim Kye-gwan saying that If America “corners us and unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons we will no longer have an interest in talks and will have to reconsider whether we will accept the upcoming DPRK-US summit”.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, “The U.S. will have to think twice about the fate of the DPRK-U.S. summit now on high agenda before a provocative military racket against the DPRK in league with the South Korean authorities.” It further said, “We will closely watch the ensuing behaviour of the U.S. and the south Korean authorities”.
Pyongyang officials rejected US perception of North Korea’s denuclearization similar to that of Libya. Immediately after Saddam’s fall in 2003, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi dismantled his nuclear plant and shipped it to the US.
Trump tried gain clarity on North Korea’s nuclear intentions during his meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday. Moon was hopeful to shore up confidence for the Kim meeting, which he helped to broker.
Read More: Trump on Summit with Kim: We’ll have to see
Some US officials believe South Korean President Moon oversold Pyongyang’s promises when his government relayed Kim’s invitation to Trump for talks in March. At the time his envoy said North Korea was “committed to denuclearization,” but recent statements from the North have cast doubts on Kim’s intentions.
Moreover, Trump has accused China of meddling in his diplomatic overtures with North Korea, saying Beijing was to blame for the new harsh tone from Pyongyang after Kim met in early May with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “I think things changed after that meeting and I can’t say I’m happy about it,” Trump said.
He did not choose to clarify North Korean concern about US joint drill with South Korea at a time when preparation for the historic summit was ongoing.
Observers believe that US has lost its credibility after withdrawing from Iran nuclear deal which was signed between Iran and P5+1, the five permanent UNSC members and Germany in 2015.