The highly anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled June 12 in Singapore, has been canceled, the White House said on Thursday.
The cancellation is a major setback for Trump, who made nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang his top foreign policy goal. The president was eager to have the meeting, openly musing about how brokering an agreement with Kim could earn him a Nobel Peace Prize.
According to the announcement, President Trump canceled his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un, citing Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” toward the United States.
“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in a letter to Kim, which was released by the White House.
Trump said the decision was made “for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world.”
Trump agreed to sit down with Kim in March, following months of hurling insults and threats at the North Korean leader.
But tensions between the U.S. and North Korea rapidly escalated over the past week as both sides wrangled for leverage ahead of the talks, developments that foreshadowed the cancellation.
On Wednesday, a top North Korean official launched another verbal fusillade at the Trump administration, calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” and saying his government is just as ready to inflict an “appalling tragedy” on the U.S. as it is to talk.
Despite the mounting tensions, Trump’s decision appeared sudden. U.S. officials were scheduled to meet over the weekend with North Korean representatives to plot logistics for the Singapore talks.