South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his aides were pictured on Friday wearing facial expressions that show their disappointment over President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un.
The picture was taken by an official press photographer at Blue House in the capital Seoul.
Blue House is the South Korean equivalent to the White House.
It shows a somber-looking Moon holding a piece of paper while his aides, who also appear glum, sit near him at a table.
The picture coincides with reports from Seoul that indicate Moon and his government were blindsided by Trump’s abrupt decision to cancel the planned meeting with Kim.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (center) and his aides were pictured on Friday wearing facial expressions that show their disappointment over President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un
Moon and Trump (right) met at the White House this past Tuesday. The South Korean leader was back in his home country for less than 24 hours before learning of the president’s decision
Moon and Trump met at the White House this past Tuesday.
The South Korean leader was back in his home country for less than 24 hours before learning of the president’s decision.
Trump and Kim were set to meet June 12 in Singapore to discuss denuclearization and reducing tensions on the peninsula.
Moon has invested a great deal of political capital in reaching out to the North, so presumably Trump’s decision came as a shock.
Trump and Kim were set to meet June 12 in Singapore to discuss denuclearization and reducing tensions on the peninsula
The White House says the North Korean government violated several promises to the U.S. and South Korea related to the summit
On April 26, Moon met Kim for ceremonial talks at the peace village of Panmunjon in the demilitarized zone.
It was the first time since the Korean War ended in an armistice that a leader from the North set foot on South Korean soil.
The village is one of the few places where there are no barbed wire fences or minefields between the two countries, separated by a conflict that ended with a truce, not a treaty, in 1953, meaning they are still technically at war.
‘I was excited to meet at this historic place and it is really moving that you came all the way to the demarcation line to greet me in person,’ Kim said as he grasped Moon’s hand across the border.
‘It was your big decision to make it here,’ said Moon, dressed in a dark suit and light blue tie, who invited Kim to step over the line in the pavement, which he did.
There was hope that the historic border meeting would set the stage for a deal between Trump and Kim.
Moon said on Friday that he was ‘very perplexed’ that the U.S.-North Korea summit won’t go ahead as planned.
Yonhap news agency cited Moon as urging direct talks between Trump and Kim.
Moon was speaking at an emergency meeting of his top security officials in Seoul after Trump announced he was canceling the summit because of North Korean ‘hostility.’
Moon was quoted as saying: ‘I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-U.S. summit will not be held on June 12.’
He said, ‘Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace are historic tasks that can neither be abandoned nor delayed.’
Moon met Trump in Washington on Tuesday, but appeared caught unawares by the president’s decision Thursday.
The White House says the North Korean government violated several promises to the U.S. and South Korea related to the summit.
A senior U.S. official says the North Koreans stood up an American delegation last week seeking to make arrangements for the summit and did not return messages from the U.S. seeking to discuss the meeting.
The official says the North also reneged on a pledge to allow international inspectors to monitor the supposed demolition of its nuclear test site Thursday.
International journalists were present, but the U.S. government can’t verify the site’s destruction.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid overshadowing Trump’s comments Thursday.
North Korea says it is still willing to sit down for talks with the United States ‘at any time, at any format.’
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan issued a statement Friday saying North Korea is ‘willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities’ to reconsider talks.
Kim says North Korea’s ‘objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged.’
Kim is calling Trump’s decision ‘unexpected’ and ‘very regrettable,’ and says the cancellation of the talks shows ‘how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties.’