NATIONAL

Opportunity for Trump-Kim summit is ‘just delayed’: USFK commander

By Yeo Jun-suk
  • Published : May 25, 2018 - 14:50
  • Updated : May 25, 2018 - 14:50
Top US commander in South Korea on Friday downplayed jitters following the cancellation of the summit between the US and North Korea, saying that the opportunity for the much-anticipated meeting is “just delayed.”

Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of US Forces in South Korea, said while he was disappointed by the fact that the summit did not pan out as planned on June 12, he still considers that the opportunity remains for a diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula.

“We all had high expectations that there would be a successful summit…and this means that Korea remains not the land of morning calm, but the land of the morning surprise,” Brook said during a security seminar held in Seoul.

“And for all the reasons that there are, and many of which North Korea has to account for themselves, and whether or not they preserved the good atmosphere or not, but I’m not worried about it because the opportunity is not lost. It’s just delayed,” he said. 


US President Donald Trump, right, is greeted by US Forces Korea Commander General Vincent Brooks, left, as he arrives at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on November 7, 2017.(AP)

His remarks came after US President Trump scrapped his plans for the meeting with Kim scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. In a letter to Kim, Trump cited North Korea’s “tremendous danger and open hostility” toward his country as reasons for the cancellation.

Brooks, however, pointed out that there had been premature expectations surrounding the summit. Although the event was broadcast as a prime opportunity for denuclearizing North Korea, skepticism was rampant in Washington that the meeting would yield a significant breakthrough.

Washington and Pyongyang have recently traded barbs over the concept of denuclearization process and even threated to pull out of the much-anticipated meeting. In canceling the summit, Trump told Kim it is “inappropriate, at this time,” to have the summit.

“Don’t worry about what happened last night. Because it may have been too early to celebrate and also too early to quit…. I would say peace is not free either. It doesn’t come in one step and it doesn’t happen overnight especially not after decades of a delayed war coming to conclusion.”

By Yeo Jun-suk (jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)