The government of South Korea said on Thursday it is struggling to understand President Donald Trump’s intentions after he announced he would not attend a planned meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
“(We) are trying to figure out what President Trump’s intention is and the exact meaning of it,” said presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said, according to Yonhap.
On Thursday, Trump wrote a letter to Kim canceling the scheduled meeting after North Korean officials called Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” for comments he made about the country’s future if it refused to denuclearize.
“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,” Trump wrote in the letter. “I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.”
White House cancels North Korea summit pic.twitter.com/mE8AaFo2mG
— Pamela Engel (@PamEngel12) May 24, 2018
Trump went on to mock the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, reminding North Korea that the United States has far more powerful nuclear weapons.
“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,” Trump wrote.
The cancelation will likely come as a disappointment to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has staked much of his presidency on improving relations with the North and attempting to denuclearize the peninsula.
Last month, Moon met with Kim Jong-un in the truce village of Panmunjom, where the pair agreed to reduce hostilities and embark on a “new era of peace.” The two countries agreed to “gradually realize arms reduction when their military tension is removed and trust is practically established.”