President Trump cancels summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un
CNN's Will Ripley is in North Korea, where he just witnessed North Korea appear to destroy part of a nuclear test site — an apparent good will gesture on behalf of the North Koreans.
He was wrapping up the day when he — and the rest of North Korea — got news that President Trump had canceled the planned June summit with Kim Jong Un.
"Being inside this country hours after they blow up the nuclear site and learning of this, it was a very awkward and uncomfortable moment, and we'll have to see what happens in the coming hours and days on the ground here."
Watch Ripley's interview:
Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, urged the US to listen to "career diplomats" and other experts when dealing with US-North Korean affairs.
This is a setback. This is an error. This is what happens when amateurs are combined with warmongers," he tweeted.
There are 4,661 miles of ocean between Hawaii and North Korea, making the island one of the closest US territories to Kim Jong Un's regime after Guam and Alaska. Last year, it became the first US state to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear attack from North Korea.
Here are Schatz's tweets:
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan just issued a statement after President Trump's decision to cancel the summit.
Ryan said the regime must display a "much greater degree of seriousness" if it wants a peaceful resolution. In the meantime, Ryan said, the US must not relent in its maximum pressure campaign.
Here's the statement:
CNN's Barbara Starr says the cancellation of the summit summit was "a very practical military matter" for both the US and North Korea.
Here's how she explained it:
"Throw all the politics out for the moment. What you are left with is a very practical military matter, really on all sides here. For the North Koreans, they had to know raising the prospect of nuclear weapons again would risk the summit. They know that that is a real red button — a hot button — for President Trump. So they're willing to risk not having the summit again because Kim Jong Un is all about his own survival, his own regime."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is testifying this morning on his department's budget in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.
He just took a moment to read President Trump's full letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Here's the moment:
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told reporters that the summit cancellation is "a little bit of setback."
He added that Secretary of State Pompeo was "realistic" that the North Korea meeting may not happen. He refused to say whether Trump was too optimistic and talked too glowingly about Kim and wouldn’t criticize Vice President Pence’s remarks about North Korea.
"There was a sense it was going to happen — no question ... It’s been difficult to communicate with them" as of late, he said.
He added that North Korea was “not quite ready” to have the meeting.
President Trump cast doubt on the North Korea-US summit on Tuesday, when South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited the White House.
"There's a very substantial chance that it won't work out. That doesn't mean that it won't work out over a period of time, but it may not work out for June 12."
Before today, that comment was the clearest indication that the summit Trump agreed to in March may be at risk. Last week, North Korea adopted a harsh new tone and threatened to withdraw from the meeting, which is due to occur in Singapore.
A senior official said the threat of nuclear war from North Korea in the latest statement calling Vice President Pence a dummy was the final straw for the US ahead of the summit.
“The summit could have never worked under these circumstances,” the official said.
President Trump's letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un canceling their upcoming meeting reads like a Dear John letter — a letter written to terminate a relationship, CNN's Jim Sciutto says.
"It's sort of like a nuclear Dear John letter,' right? It starts with some politeness, but the bottom line is remarkable. And what does it show you? It shows you that the relationship between the US and North Korea does not turn on a dime."