What is Donald Trump playing at over North Korea?

State-run KCNA citing vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan states that North Korea vowed to continue to pursue peace and signalled it would give Washington more time to reconsider talks

Trump described the cancellation of the summit as "a tremendous setback" for North Korea and warned that the USA military is ready to act should Pyongyang take any "foolish and reckless" action. He wrote: "Very good news to receive warm and productive statement from North Korea". "This missed opportunity is truly a sad moment in history".

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's withdrawal "unexpected" and "very regrettable", and said the cancellation of the talks showed "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties".

President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, May 22, 2018, in Washington. But our team confirmed that the translator said what I said.

The Independent's Samuel Osborne and Andrew Buncombe remark that through this historic meeting "Trump, a natural showman, wanted to pull off something no other U.S. president had done; no sitting United States president has met with either of the three members of the Kim dynasty that have ruled North Korea since its creation in 1948".

Mr Trump, in his letter to Mr Kim, objected specifically to a statement from a top North Korean Foreign Ministry official.

"In order for North Korea to change their policies, it is necessary for Japan and the US and South Korea to continue to apply pressure, including the United Nations sanctions and importantly with the nations that supported these (the sanctions), including China and Russia", Suga said.

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Analysts have decried the pace of events over the last few months, pointing out that the diplomatically untested businessman-president appeared to have little understanding of the complexities of dealing with North Korea.

Trump also warned North Korea the United States military was ready in the event of any reckless acts, and when asked if the summit cancellation increased the risk of war, he replied: "We'll see what happens". A four-hour bus ride and a mountain hike of more than an hour were to follow before reaching the destination, according to a pool report sent by South Korean journalists there on Wednesday night. "We are more ready than we have ever been before", Trump said.

"Although China publicly says that it is fully following the United Nations sanctions against North Korea, it will ease the sanction compared to the past in the process of improving the relations with North Korea", said Seo Jeong-kyung, a professor with the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies in Seoul.

"We are in a boxer stance, we are ready to respond", Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, director of the U.S. military's Joint Staff, told reporters.

"We'll see what happens". We're talking to them [North Korea] now. Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tokyo understood Trump's decision, saying it would be "meaningless to have talks that don't achieve results".

Wrote Trump: "If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write". (EPA-EFE/News 1) A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of a tunnel of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

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Mark Fitzpatrick from the International Institute for Strategic Studies told Al Jazeera the tone of Trump's letter bodes ill for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy was the only USA broadcast network correspondent to witness the explosions at the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site in North Korea.

And Hanham says North Korea could probably get the test site working quickly again, if it needed to.

Long affected by the North's nuclear and missile threats, Japan had hoped for a breakthrough that could lead to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the release of Japanese citizens abducted by the North in the 1970s and '80s. The US balked at that demand. "We will neither beg the USA for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us", KCNA quoted her as saying.

That statement referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" for his comments on the North and said it was up to the Americans whether they would "meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown".

"[We] are trying to figure out what President Trump's intention is and the exact meaning of it", Cheong Wa-dae told South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

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Both Pence and Trump's hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, had recently raised the spectre of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who gave up atomic weapons only to die years later at the hands of US-backed rebels.

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