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North Korea’s response to Trump’s summit cancellation is surprisingly friendly

North Korea even says some nice things about President Donald Trump. That made the president happy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime put out a surprisingly conciliatory statement after President Donald Trump canceled the Singapore summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime put out a surprisingly conciliatory statement after President Donald Trump canceled the Singapore summit.
Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images

North Korea has responded to President Trump’s sudden cancellation of a potentially historic summit with a surprisingly conciliatory — and somewhat pro-Trump — message.

“We have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other U.S. president dared not, and made effort for such a crucial event at the summit,” Kim Kye Gwan, first vice minister of foreign affairs in North Korea, said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. “We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time.”

It’s worth noting, though, that this statement came from the same person who just last week said North Korea might pull out of the summit, going so far as to note Pyongyang’s “feeling of repugnance” toward National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Still, the latest statement is worth a careful read. First, it’s not filled with typical North Korean bluster. It does take some slight digs at the US and Trump, but otherwise it’s a rather friendly comment. Second, the Kim regime says it is still willing to meet with Trump “at any time.”

That means it’s possible, albeit it currently unlikely, that Washington and Pyongyang will work toward finding a new time to chat.

If the goal of the mostly kind, diplomatic message was to both make a point and keep Trump happy, it worked. Early on Friday morning, Trump tweeted that Pyongyang’s message was “warm and productive,” adding that it might push both countries “hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace.”

The question now is just how serious both countries are about solving the nuclear standoff diplomatically. If they’re not, a potentially cataclysmic war all of a sudden becomes a potential option again.