- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
SEOUL, South Korea – The Latest on President Donald Trump canceling his planned summit with North Korea (all times local):
News reports say the commander of U.S. Forces Korea has said President Donald Trump's cancellation of his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un doesn't mean that the doors are closed to a future meeting to resolve the nuclear standoff.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Friday that Gen. Vincent Brooks made the comments during a seminar in Seoul.
Yonhap quoted Brooks as saying: "I am not worried about it because the opportunity is not lost. It is just delayed. ... Don't worry about what happened last night because it may have been too early to celebrate, it is also too early to quit. Never quit."
South Korea's Unification Ministry also maintained an optimistic tone, referring to the North's conciliatory reaction to Trump's announcement and its hope a summit could take place later.
Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun said: "There have been no changes in the stance of related parties in that the problem should be solved through dialogue."
North Korea said Friday that it's still willing to sit for talks with the United States "at any time, (in) any format," a remarkably restrained and diplomatic response, from a nation noted for its proud belligerence, to U.S. President Donald Trump's abrupt cancellation of a summit with the North's autocratic leader, Kim Jong Un.
The statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, a longtime nuclear negotiator and senior diplomat, which said the North is "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks that had been set for June 12 in Singapore, could be driven by a need to use the summit to ease crushing international sanctions, or by a determination that a summit with the mercurial Trump is the best opportunity the North will ever have to elevate itself, and its nuclear program, to equality with its archrival.
Kim Kye Gwan's statement is the latest whiplash development in efforts to diplomatically address what might be the world's most dangerous standoff. Focus will now swing back to how Trump will respond to the North's seemingly conciliatory gesture.