Following President Donald Trump’s cancellation of the June summit with Kim Jong-un due to the North Korean leader’s recent hostile comments, some lawmakers welcomed the move, whereas others were quick to blame the President for it.
Those who sided with Trump said the decision was the right one since Pyongyang does not intend on getting rid of its nuclear weapons. Others claim the President employed “amateur” antics and demonstrated lack of preparation.
“My understanding is it’s been difficult to communicate with them over the last short period of time, maybe Kim Jong-un is having some second thoughts,” said Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “There’s been some feelings recently that maybe they were not sure, maybe not quite ready if you will on the North Korean side to have this kind of meeting. We need to make sure if we’re going to have this meeting, it’s going to be productive.”
The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Representative Ed Royce, believes the administration needs to continue with its maximum pressure policy. He further pointed out that the U.S. goal was to end Pyongyang’s nuclear threats peacefully and called on its allies South Korea and Japan to support them in it.
Democrats, on the other hand, condemned President Trump for canceling the summit, saying that he had failed at diplomacy.
“The art of diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal. Look, I have said all along that it is a lack of a strategy, and deep preparation that is needed before you agree to entering such a high profile summit,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “Kim Jong-un already received some of what he wanted in recognition that he could be seen as reasonable. And it’s amazing to me that this administration is somehow shocked that the North Koreans are acting as North Korea acts,” he added.
Meanwhile, North Korea said Kim was still open to meeting the U.S. President despite him canceling it. Kim Kye Gwan, a top official at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said Trump’s decision to cancel the talks runs counter to the global community’s wishes for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem(s) regardless of ways at any time,” he said, according to CNN.
On Thursday, President Trump also said he was willing to meet with Kim “if and when Kim Jong-un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting.”