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Trump cancels summit with North Korea

President Donald Trump called off next month's summit with North Korea, calling the cancellation a "tremendous setback" for world peace and stressing that the US military was ready to respond to any "foolish or reckless acts" by the North.

The decision ends months of diplomatic advances between the US and North Korea that Trump repeatedly heralded as the likely precursor to a historic peace deal and the denuclearization of North Korea. Now, the d├ętente between Washington and Pyongyang appears in jeopardy, with a return to the bellicose rhetoric that has defined the US-North Korea relationship for much of Trump's presidency once again peering over the horizon.

Trump cancelled the upcoming summit between the United States and the North Koreans in a new letter released on Thursday. The President wrote in the letter that he was "very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."

The President also told Kim in the letter, "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used."

In a translated tweet from South Korea's Blue House, their presidential office, President Moon Jae-in expressed that it was "embarrassed and regretful that the North American summit was not held on June 12 that was scheduled. Denuclearization of the Korean peninsular and enduring peace are historic tasks that can not be abandoned or delayed."

Reaction from Capitol Hill to the North Korea summit cancellation was swift. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that the U.S. must "continue to work with our allies toward a peaceful resolution, but that will require a much greater degree of seriousness from the Kim regime."

House Foreign Relations Chairman Ed Royce, said that the Trump administration should "continue to look for opportunities while applying maximum diplomatic and financial pressure against Kim Jong Un."

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, commended the president for "seeing through Kim Jong Un's fraud." He added, "As I have long said, our maximum-pressure campaign on North Korea must continue."

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, meanwhile placed blame on the administration, writing "The cancellation of this summit reveals the lack of preparation on the part of President Trump in dealing with a totalitarian dictator like Kim Jong Un. We've seen similar lack of preparation by the president in dealing with the leaders of China and Russia."

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer responded on the senate floor, saying "The fear many of us had was that the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un would be a great show that produced nothing enduring."

He added, "If a summit is to be reconstituted, the United States must show strength and achieve a concrete, verifiable, enduring elimination of Kim Jong-Un's nuclear capabilities."

Trump withdrew from the summit after a North Korean vice minister of foreign affairs slammed Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday as a "political dummy," the latest harshly worded statement from Pyongyang.

Trump and his aides were infuriated by the statement and wanted to respond forcefully, multiple people familiar with the situation told CNN. The specific and personal targeting of Pence is what irked US officials, three people familiar with the matter said.

The verbal broadside against Pence was just the latest harshly worded statement from North Korea over the last 10 days. Early last week, North Korea canceled a planned meeting with South Korea and threatened to pull out of the Singapore summit because of ongoing US-South Korean military exercises.

Trump and his aides had insisted over the past week that planning for the summit was still ongoing amid the increased bluster from Pyongyang. A logistics team was dispatched to Singapore to finalize details with North Korea officials. And a commemorative coin was stamped by military aides labeling Kim the "Supreme Leader."

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