President Donald Trump on Thursday said the U.S. military stands “ready if necessary” following his cancellation of a planned summit with Kim Jong Un, ramping up already tense rhetoric exchanged between Washington and Pyongyang.
The president, throwing aside his conciliatory rhetoric, called the meeting’s cancellation a “great setback for the world.” Touting a “greatly enhanced” American military, Trump warned Kim against taking “foolish or reckless” action.
“Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right,” Trump later added.
In a letter to Kim released Thursday, he accused the communist dictatorship of “tremendous anger and open hostility” ahead of the meeting. The summit, previously set for June 12 in Singapore, would have marked the first face-to-face meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
Trump wrote that canceling the meeting — during which he planned to press for denuclearization — was “for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world.” In scrapping the historic summit, he again used some of the fiery rhetoric against North Korea he has recently avoided.
“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,” the president wrote.
After Trump canceled the summit, both American allies and U.S. lawmakers questioned how Trump would proceed with peace talks. A representative for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who helped to spark diplomatic talks, said his government was “trying to figure out what President Trump’s intention is and the exact meaning of it,” the country’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans applauded Trump’s move and said they felt Kim had dubious intentions entering the talks about potentially abandoning his nuclear and weapons programs. Democrats worried about whether Trump had a plan to proceed in the peace talks.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.