S. Korea seeks to encourage direct communication between Trump, Kim

RT's first-hand account

President Trump's abrupt announcement he was calling off a June 12 summit with North Korea's leader was met Friday with an open invitation from North Korea to meet "at any time". First vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan expressed "great regret" for Trump's decision, and said North Korea remains "broad-minded and open all the time" for further discussions with the US.

"We would like to do it", Trump said of the summit, and "they very much would like to do it".

Trump earlier this week cast doubts on the summit happening as planned on June 12 in Singapore, but he said, "Someday, a date will absolutely happen".

Trump told reporters on his way to board the presidential helicopter that US officials are in talks with North Korea after the country's "very nice statement" on Friday.

"For now, we are not considering picking up the phone", the official said. "Our commitment to doing our best for the sake of peace and stability for the world and the Korean Peninsula remains unchanged, and we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the U.S.". We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace.

He wrote: "Very good news to receive warm and productive statement from North Korea. Only time (and talent) will tell!" On Monday, Pence suggested that North Korea may end up like Libya if Kim "doesn't make a deal".

But many felt the Trump administration was rushing into a summit too quickly, with insufficient preparation.

"Internally we have been quietly giving President Trump high marks for making a decision no other American president had the courage to pursue", Kim Kye-gwan said.

In the city's Gwanghwamun Square Friday, a group of about 30 protesters holding the banners of South Korea's left-wing Minjung party had gathered to demonstrate against the cancellation of summit.

China, North Korea's lone major ally, said the United States and North Korea should show patience.

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Trump, who considers himself a master dealmaker, has confounded aides and allies at every turn of the fateful flirtation with the North.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch ally of Kim Jong Un, said the North Korean leader had in fact done "everything that he had promised in advance, even blowing up the tunnels and shafts" of the site. A photo of the meeting released by the presidential office showed Moon with a deep frown.

Nauert said the administration is wary of heading into a meeting without knowing that something concrete will come out of it. Nauert said she wasn't aware of whether the Trump administration is now in direct contact with Kim Jong Un's government.

"The important thing is not the meeting itself but that there are opportunities to move towards resolving the nuclear and missile issues", the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters.

A recent survey commissioned by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, however, found that South Koreans were more concerned about air pollution than Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Trump repeatedly offered mixed messages about the exit.

In his letter, Trump warned Kim of the United States' greater nuclear might, reminiscent of his tweet a year ago asserting that he had a "much bigger" nuclear button than Kim.

"Why does anyone believe him?"

Vinograd also questioned how the Trump administration planned to engage with Pyongyang on policy if the conversation was so fixated on logistics. "Because if they attempt to derail this, the world will again castigate the United States", she said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a hawkish Republican from SC, said he had spoken with Trump directly and insisted the president was still committed to the negotiations.

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