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US President Donald Trump on Thursday called off his planned June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un, the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea"s top leader, in a letter released by the White House.
But in leaving the door open to the talks, Trump said if Kim takes "constructive" steps the meeting might go on. Even his letter hedged.
"I was very much looking forward to being there with you," Trump said in his letter to Kim. "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."
Choe Son-hui, vice-foreign minister of the DPRK, warned earlier that she would put forward a suggestion to Kim reconsidering the DPRK-US summit, as US Vice-President Mike Pence said this week that DPRK might end like Libya.
"We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us," Choe said in a statement before Trump"s cancellation.
Also on Thursday, the DPRK confirmed the demolition of its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, saying that all the tunnels have been collapsed by explosions and their entrances were completely closed, according to Korean Central News Agency.
Republic of Korea auth-orities said the move will be the "first step toward complete denuclearization on the peninsula" at a meeting of its National Security Commission.
A series of explosions were set off over hours to dismantle the site in the presence of invited foreign journalists. The scheduled closing was announced by Kim, and Pyongyang invited journalists from China, Russia, the United States, Britain and the ROK to witness the demolition.
Following the explosions, the DPRK planned to remove all observation facilities and research institutes and close the surrounding testing area.
Fan Jishe, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences" Institute of American Studies, said Kim"s series of moves showed his sincerity to push forward the process of solving the peninsula issue.
The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue has repeatedly led to tensions since the 1990s. The DPRK conducted six nuclear tests at Punggye-ri between October 2006 and September 2017.
The issue took a turn for the better this year when Pyongyang affirmed its intention to denuclearize the peninsula and Trump responded positively to the security concerns.
During the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers" Party of Korea in April, Pyongyang made the decision that the country will discontinue its nuclear tests and ballistic missile test launches.
Coming at a crucial moment when major parties are working hard to achieve reconciliation and peace on the peninsula, Fan said the dismantling of the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site demonstrates Pyongyang"s commitment to denuclearization, consolidating the detente needed for a political settlement of the issue. Fan said it deserves the support of the international community.
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