Seoul: North Korea said on Friday it was still willing to talk to the United States after President Donald Trump canceled a summit between the two countries, a move Pyongyang described as “extremely regrettable.”
“The abrupt announcement of the cancellation of the meeting is unexpected for us and we can not but find it extremely regrettable,” Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s first deputy foreign minister, said in a statement issued by the state news agency KCNA.
“We again tell the US our willingness to sit face to face at any time in any way to solve the problem,” Kim added.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled the summit scheduled for June with Kim Jong Un, blaming the “open hostility” of the North Korean regime and warning Pyongyang to commit “foolish or imprudent acts”.
In a letter to Kim, Trump announced that he would not continue with the high-risk meeting scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, after what the White House called a “trail of broken promises” by the North.
In his statement on Friday, the first deputy foreign minister, Kim, said the North Korean leader had been preparing for the summit to move forward.
“Our president (Kim Jong Un) had also said that a meeting with President Trump would create a good start and he had been making efforts in preparations for it,” Kim said.
Just before Trump announced the cancellation of the talks, North Korea declared that it had “completely” dismantled its nuclear testing site, in a carefully choreographed maneuver portrayed as a gesture of goodwill before the summit.
But the unprecedented possibilities of success of face to face had been recently in question.
On Thursday, Pyongyang hardened its rhetoric by attacking US Vice President Mike Pence for “ignorant and stupid.”
That barrage seemed to hurt Trump, which led him to abruptly withdraw from the talks.
“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility shown in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” read Trump’s letter to Kim, which was dictated by word. word of the American leader, according to a senior White House official.