Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted President Donald Trump on Thursday for canceling his June 12 summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, insisting that Kim “did everything he promised in advance.”
“In Russia, we took this news with regret,” Putin said. “We had very much counted on it being a significant step in sorting out the situation on the Korean Peninsula and that it would be the beginning of the process of denuclearizing the whole Korean Peninsula.”
Putin is incorrect about the North Koreans keeping their promises. He placed enormous stock in the showy demolition at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, an operation viewed by nuclear experts as a theatrical production with limited relevance to permanently ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, if not a scurrilous exercise in destroying criminal evidence.
The Associated Press runs down North Korea’s other broken promises:
A senior U.S. official says the North Koreans stood up an American delegation last week seeking to make arrangements for the summit and did not return messages from the U.S. seeking to discuss the meeting.
The official says the North also reneged on a pledge to allow international inspectors to monitor the supposed demolition of its nuclear test site Thursday. International journalists were present, but the U.S. government can’t verify the site’s destruction.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid overshadowing Trump’s comments Thursday.
At any rate, the summit might be back on again, as the North Koreans swiftly changed their tune after President Trump sent his cancelation letter to Kim Jong-un. President Trump said on Friday that the summit might even be held on the originally scheduled date of June 12.