President Trump Says North Korea Summit Still Possible

US President Donald Trump welcomed the North's conciliatory response to his Thursday letter withdrawing from the

The canceled summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un leaves both men with big decisions to make if they want to avoid a march to war over North Korea's nuclear program. Beijing had backed the summit and was possibly taken unawares with the cancellation following heated exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang this week.

Asked Friday if North Korea was playing games ahead of the summit, Trump responded, "Everyone plays games".

Mr Trump said from the White House that a "maximum pressure campaign" of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea, with which the USA is technically still at war, but he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point.

"Under the current circumstances we hope both the DPRK and the U.S. can cherish the recent positive progress, stay patient, show goodwill, move in the same direction and continue to stay committed to promoting the denuclearisation of the peninsula", he added.

Trump and his team weathered insults, tolerated unanswered phone calls and waited hours for negotiating partners who never showed up as they sought to keep the planned Singapore summit with Kim on track.

"In a contest of who can be the most erratic leader, President Trump beats Kim Jong Un hands-down", Joel Wit, founder of the respected 38 North website which monitors North Korea, wrote on Twitter.

"China actually has played the role of hidden guarantor for the North Korea-United States summit, so China will continue to promote this meeting", Sun Xingjie, an expert on North Korea at the Jilin University, told the People's Daily Overseas Edition, an official Communist Party of China paper.

USA defense and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental US with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other USA officials have said they would not tolerate.

Speaking after the letter's release, Trump appeared to open the door to the summit continuing, depending on Kim's response to the USA demand to give up nuclear weapons. The two-month flirtation helped secure the release of three Americans held in North Korea.

Kim concluded that North Korea remains "willing to sit down with the United States any time, in any format, to resolve the problems".

Donald Trump in his letter to Kim objected specifically to a statement from a top North Korean Foreign Ministry
North Korea says it's still willing to meet with Trump after US President cancels summit

It seems that now, North Korea has changed its tune, and Trump is sticking to his word and considering going through with the summit. In a letter to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Trump had blamed "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang, but held out hope that the meeting could happen. "It could even be the twelfth", he said. That was intentional; while some advisers were anxious about insulting South Korea and other USA allies, Trump didn't want to give them a heads-up because he was afraid the news would leak.

May 22: Trump and Moon meet at the White House and express optimism for a successful summit between Trump and Kim.

As the world processes the cancelation of the U.S.

First Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan called Trump's decision "unexpected" and "regrettable".

He said: "His sudden and unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is something unexpected to us and we cannot but feel great regret for it".

Senior White House officials who went to Singapore to meet their North Korean counterparts last week were stood up, officials said. Trump agreed to the meeting abruptly earlier this year, taking many by surprise.

"We got a lot of dial tones, senator", he told Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.

Asked why the USA didn't withdraw from the summit after that, the official said the White House had "been willing to give the North Koreans every opportunity within reason to consummate this meeting".

"If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit", Trump wrote, "please do not hesitate to call me or write".

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