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'Trump-style solution'? North Korea still open to talks after summit cancelled

Trump wrote a letter to Kim to announce his withdrawal from what would have been the first-ever meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump are expected to meet in Singapore on June 12. Picture: CNN

SEOUL - North Korea responded on Friday with measured tones to US President Donald Trump’s decision to call off a historic summit with leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, saying Pyongyang hoped for a “Trump-style solution” to resolve the standoff over its nuclear weapons programme.

On Thursday, Trump wrote a letter to Kim to announce his withdrawal from what would have been the first-ever meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader in Singapore on 12 June.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s announcement came after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out of the summit over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials.

Friday’s response by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan was more conciliatory, specifically praising Trump’s efforts.

“We had hoped a ‘Trump-style solution’ would be a wise way to relieve worries from both sides, meet our demands and realistically resolve problems,” he said in a Korean language statement carried by state media, without elaborating.

North Korea has sharply criticised suggestions by senior US officials - including Vice President Mike Pence - that it could share the fate of Libya if it did not swiftly surrender its nuclear arsenal. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and murdered by NATO-backed militants after halting his nascent nuclear programme.

Kim Kye Gwan said such criticisms had only been a “protest” against American rhetoric, and that it showed the need for talks with Washington.

“To announce the summit is cancelled was a surprise for us and we couldn’t help but feel it was a deep shame,” Kim Kye Gwan said, while noting that North Korea remained open to resolving issues with Washington “at any time in any way.”