Donald Trump has suggested his summit with Kim Jong-un could still go on as planned, marking yet another dramatic reversal for the USA president who just a day earlier canceled the meeting in a letter to the North Korean leader.
As Trump pulled out of talks scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, the White House blamed North Korea's ramped-up nuclear rhetoric and unwillingness to meet for pre-summit planning.
The North's official news agency put out a statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan saying, "We had set in high regards President Trump's efforts, unprecedented by any other president, to create a historic U.S".
The official statement out of North Korea said Kim sees the need for an upcoming meeting between the nations as "urgent".
Trump said, "We're talking to them now. We'd like to do it".
Traders had already been nervous in recent days after the United States president warned he could pull out of the June 12 meeting with the North Korean leader, while also voicing his displeasure at a deal to avert a trade war with China and threatening tariffs on auto imports.
North Korea's vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan seemed hopeful that the meeting could still go ahead one day.
It's not clear whether South Korea, a close US ally intimately involved in the negotiations with North Korea, was informed in advance that Trump was calling off the summit. He urged Trump and Kim to talk directly.
North Korea's ally China says the parties involved in the now-canceled U.S.
North Korea had sharply criticised suggestions by Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence that it could share the fate of Libya if it did not swiftly surrender its nuclear arsenal.
What were Mr Trump's latest comments?
Eager for a bold accomplishment, Trump jumped quickly on Kim Jong Un's March overture for a summit, announcing that Singapore would host the June meeting. We're talking to them now.
The White House even unveiled a commemorative coin with the profiles of Trump and Kim to herald the "peace talks".
"He wants to get something that's a long-lasting and an actual real solution". "It's clear he didn't know what he was getting into", she said of Trump.
Trump's aides had warned that merely agreeing to the summit had provided Kim with long-sought global legitimacy and, if Trump ultimately backed out, risked fostering the perception that the president was insufficiently committed to diplomatic solutions to the nuclear question. There, former leader Colonel Gaddafi gave up his nascent nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later.
Earlier in a tweet, the president welcomed North Korea's response to the cancellation of the meeting.
Kim said that the North remains open to talks with the U.S.
At an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said it was necessary to ensure security on the Korean peninsula, which touched on China's core interests. "Another camp may try to use this as evidence that diplomacy is doomed to fail, and that denuclearizing North Korea by force - attacking a nuclear weapons power - is the only remaining option".
Trump didn't mention North Korea during what, at times, sounded like a campaign speech.
Global markets took a hit on the news that the summit was canceled, according to Reuters.
In his letter, Trump warned Kim of the United States' greater nuclear might, reminiscent of his tweet previous year asserting that he had a "much bigger" nuclear button than Kim.
On September 21, 2017, Washington unveils a raft of tough sanctions to curb North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program, two days after Mr Trump's maiden speech to the UN General Assembly, in which he dubs Kim a "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission".