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24 May, 2018 21:20

Trump cancels nuclear summit despite Kim 'doing everything he promised' – Putin

Trump cancels nuclear summit despite Kim 'doing everything he promised' – Putin

Vladimir Putin expressed regret that Donald Trump cancelled his summit with Kim Jong-un despite Pyongyang doing everything it was asked for and expressing hope that the US-North Korea nuclear talks will take place eventually.

“Here, in Russia, we took this news with regret because we very much anticipating a significant step to be taken to de-escalate the situation on the Korean Peninsula that would become the beginning of the process of denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula," Putin said after talks with his French President Emmanuel Macron in St. Petersburg on Thursday. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “has done everything he previously promised; he even blew up the tunnels and mines at the [Punggye-ri nuclear] test site – and after that, we learned of the cancellation of the meeting by the US,” he said.

“We hope that dialogue will be resumed… and this meeting will take place,” the Russian leader added, saying that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will never be achieved without Trump and Kim sitting together. Putin also promised that Moscow and other international players “will be jointly working to bring the stances of the US and North Korea closer together.”

The much-anticipated meeting of the US and Korean leaders was scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12. But Trump issued a statement on Thursday, saying that he was calling the talks off “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility” from Kim, who recently threatened the US with a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” in response to continued American drills near the North Korean border. The American announcement was made just hours after Pyongyang blew up its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, as witnessed by RT’s Igor Zhdanov, who is part of a journalist pool in North Korea.

US not interested in settling Korean crisis – Russian lawmakers

Trump refused to meet Kim because he realized that he was losing the “diplomatic game” over the summit, Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Upper House Committee for Foreign Relations, said.

The June talks “made sense for Washington only as a testimony of the triumph of its tactics of pressure and blackmail. But in reality it turned out the other way around,” Kosachev wrote on Facebook. The US has been demanding acts of goodwill from Pyongyang and by dismantling its nuclear test site, the North Koreans “basically, pinned Washington down to its word.”

READ MORE: Newly-released Pentagon report says Pyongyang sees nukes as key to its survival

By this unilateral step from Pyongyang “the ball was thrown to Washington’s side,” and that’s how Trump reacted, he said. "It turns out that he didn’t want real steps from Pyongyang, rather some manifestation of personal sympathy [from the North Korean leader]. But one needs to earn such things and being moody is clearly not the best way to achieve this,” Kosachev said.

Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov, the deputy head of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the cancellation of the talks came as no surprise to him because “because the Americans aren’t interested in normalizing relations on the Korean Peninsula.” 

“They sell their weapons to both the South Koreans and the Japanese. And if dialogue begins, then there’ll be no more need for that,” Dzhabarov told Interfax.

By backtracking on the summit, the US has “once again demonstrated that they couldn’t care less about their allies – Japan and South Korea,” for whom it is vital to maintain peace in the region, Senator Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security, said, as cited by Interfax.

The senator also agreed that recent harsh statements by Kim weren’t the real reason for Trump’s move, saying that, “most likely, the US hasn’t yet decided on the scenario for the settlement of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.”

Klintsevich expressed regret that a good chance of reconciliation between Pyongyang and Washington has been missed, and “nobody knows if there’ll be new chances like this and when.”

The cancelled summit between Trump and Kim indicates that “Washington isn’t interested in peaceful settlement and, obviously, has regime change as its final goal in North Korea,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, said.

“The US is only concerned with its own influence, which they are consistently trying to achieve by creating and supporting local conflicts,” the MP said. The move by the US administration may cause a new spike in tensions in the Korean Peninsula, which “jeopardizes security not only in the region, but the whole world,” he added, as cited by RIA-Novosti.