President Donald Trump has cancelled a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after a week when both sides fell back into the rhetorical brinkmanship that had raised fears of armed conflict on the Korean peninsula
Based on the recent statement of North Korea, I've 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.
I've spoken to General Mattis and the joint chiefs of staff, and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world, that has been greatly enhanced recently as you all know, is ready if necessary. North Korea has the opportunity to end decades of poverty and oppression by following the path of denuclearisation and joining the community of nations.
If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting. In the meantime, our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest sanctions ever imposed, and maximum pressure campaign will continue, as it has been continuing.
But no matter what happens, and what we do we will never, ever compromise the safety and security of the United States of America. It's possible that the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date. Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.
Mr President, one more question, you said you had a wonderful dialogue with Kim Jong Un?
We have a wonderful dialogue. We have a wonderful - there's been a very good working relationship. It started with the hostages coming back home. The hostages came home. We didn't have to pay. We wouldn't have paid. But they came back home. They're now safely ensconced in their houses. And they're very happy and thrilled, and they never thought it was going to happen. So the dialogue was good until recently. And I think I understand why that happened.
Why was that?
I won't say that. Someday I'll give it to you. You can write about it in a book. But I really believe we have a great opportunity. We'll see whether or not that opportunity is seized by North Korea. If it is, great for them, and great for the world. If it isn't, it will be just fine. Thank you all very much.