North Korea says it remains open to talks with US "at any time"

US President Donald Trump cancelled the planned Summit between the countries yesterday

North Korea says it remains open to talks with US "at any time"

A man is reflected on a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump, 25-05-2018. Image: Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Press Association Images

North Korea's state news agency has insisted the country is still open to talks with the US.

In a statement, the country’s foreign ministry described US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a major Summit between the two nations next month as “regrettable.”

It insisted the country is ready to talk at “any time.”

"The abrupt announcement of the cancellation of the meeting is unexpected for us and we cannot but find it extremely regrettable," Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister, said in a statement.

"We again state to the US our willingness to sit face-to-face at any time in any form to resolve the problem.”

Cancellation

President Trump cancelled the Summit over what he called the “tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent North Korean statement.

The North Korean statement called US Vice President Mike Pence "ignorant" and "stupid" and warned of a "nuclear showdown."

The regime appeared to be objecting to Mr Pence's suggestion the North may end up like Libya "if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal" and relinquish its nuclear weapons programme.

Libya's ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising years after giving up atomic weapons in exchange for the easing of sanctions.

Nuclear weapons

In an open letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday, President Trump warned: "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used."

He also described it as a "missed opportunity" that is a "truly sad moment in history" and left the door open to a meeting at a later date.

The announcement was made within hours of North Korea apparently destroying a nuclear test site.

Diplomacy

President Trump faced criticism after he agreed to the Summit without a clear commitment from North Korea that it would give up its nuclear weapons programme.

After he moved to cancel it, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi warned that had been out-foxed by Kim Jong Un.

“A person who runs a police state being legitimised by the President of the United States,” she said.

“They were on a par with each other.

“He got global recognition and regard. He is the big winner and when he got this letter from the president saying ‘OK never mind’ – he must be having a giggle fit.”

The Summit was scheduled for Singapore next month.