US President Donald Trump has called off a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In a letter to the North Korean leader, Mr Trump wrote, “sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”
The meeting was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
Professor Robert Patman, professor of international relations at Otago University, joined Mark Sainsbury on Morning Talk to discuss what the cancellation of the summit will mean for the relationship between the two countries.
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“Many people are worried that it could signal a period of escalation of rhetoric, and perhaps worse, between North Korea and the United States.”
The cancellation of the summit came even after North Korea had followed through on a pledge to blow up tunnels at its nuclear test site.
“That was largely symbolic though.”
Mr Patman said that the nuclear test site was already obsolete but it was a “good will gesture”.
Another gesture that Mr Trump acknowledged in the letter was the release of three American prisons who were allowed to go back to the United States.
Mr Patman said that whether the two leaders will ever meet is going to be hard to predict.
“They’re both unpredictable people.”
Mr Trump called it "a missed opportunity" and said someday he still hoped to meet with the North Korean leader.
Listen to the full interview with Professor Robert Patman above.
Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.