PEACE PLEA Kim Jong-un urges Trump to reconsider scrapping weapons talks after Pentagon warns US is ‘ready to fight tonight’

American forces are 'ready if necessary,' Trump said at a White House bill signing event after he cancelled his meeting with Kim

25 May 2018 - 08:48

KIM Jong-un has urged Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to scrap weapons talks - just after the Pentagon warned its military was ready "to fight tonight."

North Korea says it is still willing to sit down for talks with the United States "at any time" after the President abruptly cancelled his planned summit with Kim.

The nation also released new images it claims show the destruction of a nuclear test site as hopes of a meeting between the United States and North Korea appeared to grow more distant.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan issued a statement late on Thursday night saying North Korea is "willing to give the US time and opportunities" to reconsider talks.

Kim claimed North Korea's "objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged."

He called Trump's decision "unexpected" and "very regrettable," and said the cancellation shows "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-US relations is and how urgently a summit should be realised to improve ties."

 North Korea issued a statement Friday saying it is still "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format"
 
North Korea issued a statement Friday saying it is still "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format"
 Images showed North Korea's nuclear test site being destroyed
 
Images showed North Korea's nuclear test site being destroyed
 Photographers and film crews record the destruction
 
Photographers and film crews record the destruction
 A guard stationed at the opening to one of the tunnels which was later destroyed in the blast
 
A guard stationed at the opening to one of the tunnels which was later destroyed in the blast

It is not known to how much of the Punggye-ri facility has been demolished, but a number of journalists invited to witness the destruction told of a number of explosions deep in the mountains

Tom Cheshire, of Sky News, said: "There was a huge explosion, you could feel it. Dust came at you, the heat came at you. It was extremely loud."

Earlier, US General Kenneth McKenzie revealed his forces in South Korea are now in "a high state of vigilance" following the collapse of nuclear weapons talks.

He added America is always prepared to respond to provocations from the North Koreans "because they have proven to be unpredictable in the past."

 The entrance to a nuclear test tunnel at North Korea's Punggye-ri test facility pictured shortly before its demolition
 
The entrance to a nuclear test tunnel at North Korea's Punggye-ri test facility pictured shortly before its demolition
 Debris was scattered all over the place following the blasts
 
Debris was scattered all over the place following the blasts

“In terms of we are ready to fight tonight - that's always been the case,” he said.

He spoke hours after Trump himself used a letter to Kim to tell him he was walking away from the talks, adding: "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used."

Trump also confirmed his military stood primed if Kim were to take any "foolish or reckless" actions.

American forces are "ready if necessary," he said at a White House bill signing event after he cancelled his much-heralded talks with the North Korean leader.

However he later tried to calm fears by adding "Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right."

 Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, told reporters the U.S. military will be ready for any North Korean provocation such as a missile launch
 
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, told reporters the U.S. military will be ready for any North Korean provocation such as a missile launch

Trump also said "we'll see what happens" when asked whether the cancellation of the meeting had raised the risk of war.

Ominously that's the exact phrase he used TWO DAYS before he launched a strike on Syria in response to a horrific chemical weapons attack

"I've spoken to (Defense Secretary) General Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world that has been greatly enhanced recently, as you all know, is ready if necessary," he said.

The President also revealed he's been in touch with South Korea and Japan and that both allies are willing to bear much of the financial burden "if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us."

Trump suggested this week that China was to blame for "a little change" in Kim's attitude. Kim paid a secret visit to his primary ally just before Pompeo's visit, and China is wary of any shift in the balance of power on the Korean peninsula

Earlier today the White House released a letter to the North Korean leader saying the summit planned for Singapore will not take place.

In personal letter from the President to the Chairman of the communist state Trump said he would not be going ahead with the meeting.

Trump called the cancellation a “tremendous setback” for peace and denuclearisation.

Trump wrote: "We greatly appreciate your time, patience and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore.

 In a letter sent to 'His Excellency Kim Jong-un' Trump said he would not be attending the scheduled meeting
 
In a letter sent to 'His Excellency Kim Jong-un' Trump said he would not be attending the scheduled meeting

"We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.

"I was very much looking forward to being there with you.

"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."

It is thought Trump may be referring to a verbal broadside launched against his VP Mike Pence by the North Korean vice foreign minister in which he was branded "ignorant and stupid".

The Donald went on to say that "some day, I look very much forward to meeting you".

In the letter addressed to "His Excellency Kim Jong-un" Trump also made reference to the USA's "massive and powerful" nuclear weapons.

He added: "Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.

"You talk about you nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used."

Earlier this week Trump had suggested there was "substantial chance" next month's meeting would not go ahead.

Meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in in the Oval Office yesterday he told reporters "If it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later."

The news comes on the same day North Korea seemingly carried out the planned demolition of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists today.

Earlier North Korea's vice foreign minister said the future of the summit between Pyongyang and Washington was "entirely" up to the United States.

Choe Son Hui slammed US Vice President Mike Pence as "ignorant and stupid" after he compared the country to Libya.

According to a report by North Korea's central news agency she said: "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."

She added: "I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president."

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