North Korea still open to United States talks despite Trump summit cancellation

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"We are talking to them now", Trump told reporters as he left the White House Friday morning.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said the cancellation was "very regrettable", but added that North Korea was still willing to talk "at any time in any form".

Traders had already been nervous in recent days after the U.S. president warned he could pull out of the June 12 meeting with the North Korean leader, while also voicing his displeasure at a deal to avert a trade war with China and threatening tariffs on vehicle imports. But they would have focused on ways of denuclearising the Korean peninsula and reducing tensions.

Trump's aides had warned that merely agreeing to the summit had provided Kim with long-sought worldwide legitimacy and, if Trump ultimately backed out, risked fostering the perception that the president was insufficiently committed to diplomatic solutions to the nuclear question.

The statement from the vice minister also reportedly said: "We reiterate to the USA that we are willing to sit face to face at any time and in any way". The message came after a key aide to Kim hit out at comments from Vice President Mike Pence, saying they were "ignorant and stupid" and warning the talks could be cancelled. Journalists on this week's trip report no such experts joined them for the visible gesture put on by Kim.

But, Go added, it isn't all bad news for Trump.

-North Korea talks by persuading Kim to agree to a broad denuclearization goal at the recent inter-Korean summit.

Trump, in his letter calling off the summit, said it was canceled "to the detriment of the world".

Regardless of the motivation, Kim Kye Gwan's statement is the latest whiplash development in efforts to diplomatically address what might be the world's most risky standoff.

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But he said many North Korean defectors he knows have remained pragmatic.

Trump blamed the "tremendous anger and open hostility" from Pyongyang for forcing the cancelation of the summit, but many analysts say the issue was more about substance over tone and the unbridgeable gap between the two denuclearization positions.

But he called the meeting a "missed opportunity", saying "some day, I look very much forward to meeting you".

In a statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan released to KCNA news service, North Korea still wants to meet with the Trump administration saying, "we are always willing to provide time and opportunity to the U.S. with a generous and open mind".

Already on shaky ground amid stalled talks with North Korea, South Korea's ability to fulfill its self-assigned role of mediator between Pyongyang and Washington suffered the biggest blow yet when Trump apparently failed to give his allies in Seoul a heads up about his announcement.

Kim Jong-un is not a weak leader and he has shown tremendous capacity to lead North Korea, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the only top USA official to have met the reclusive leader twice in recent weeks.

What Mr Trump was referring to?

He was apparently responding to statements from a senior North Korean diplomat attacking his administration and casting doubt over the meeting.

North Korea is no stranger to talks with the US.

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Ms Choe, who has been involved in several diplomatic interactions with the U.S. over the past decade, said the North would not "beg" for dialogue and warned of a "nuclear showdown" if diplomacy failed.

After that, however, a senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises ahead of the summit. They stressed, however, there was a "backdoor that's open still".

"North Korea was in the process of doing everything that had been demanded of it".

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gave up his nuclear arsenal in negotiations with the West, but he was later overthrown and killed after a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air intervention that supported rebels on the ground.

North Korea says that, unlike Libya, it is a fully fledged nuclear state.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who leapt on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as an opportunity to broach a detente with his prickly neighbour, is unlikely to abandon the process now - even at the cost of a deterioration of his country's USA alliance.

However, Trump's decision hasn't come as a complete shock for those who have been following-up the constant back-and-forth from both sides in the run-up to the June meeting. Mr Kim might well take offence at the hard-nosed U.S. approach after he released American detainees and destroyed a nuclear site.

In April, the leaders of both Koreas had a historic meeting at the border, promising to end hostilities and work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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