NEW YORK POST:
President Trump said Thursday that his cancellation of the much-ballyhooed summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un next month was “a tremendous setback” for the rogue regime.
“I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” the president said in brief remarks from the White House.
And he issued a blunt warning that the US and its Asian allies were ready to respond if the North were to take military action.
“I’ve spoken to [Defense Secretary] General [James] Mattis and the joint chiefs of staff and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world that has been greatly enhanced recently, as you all know, is ready if necessary,” he said.
“Likewise, I have spoken to South Korea and Japan, and they are not only ready should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea, but they are willing to shoulder much of the cost of any financial burden, any of the costs associated by the United States in operations if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us.”
Trump also said that tough sanctions would remain in place — but left the door open to rescheduling the summit.
“If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting,” he said.
The president paired his tough talk about military action with words of praise for the leader he had often mocked as “Little Rocket Man.”
“They want to do what’s right. I really believe Kim Jong-un wants to do what’s right, so hopefully things will work out,” he said in response to reporter’s questions.
“We have a wonderful, there’s been a very good working relationship. It started with the hostages coming back home. The hostages came home, we didn’t have to pay, we wouldn’t have paid, but they came back home. They’re now safely ensconced in their houses and they’re very happy and thrilled, and they never thought it was going to happen,” Trump said.
The chances for rescheduling the summit and reaching agreement with the North remained good, he added,
“The dialogue was good until recently. I really believe we have a great opportunity. We’ll see whether or not that opportunity is seized by North Korea. If it is, great for them and great for the world. If it isn’t, it will be just fine,” he said.