“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
With these words, President Trump notified Kim Jong Un yesterday that he was canceling their June 12 summit in Singapore.
This decision followed a series of ominously worded statements from North Korea. Their senior envoy for US affairs had threatened to call off the summit and warned that their regime could “make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined.” The envoy also described Vice President Pence as a “political dummy.”
The White House says back channels for discussions with North Korea are still open but states that the regime must first change its rhetoric.
A “challenging threat environment”
The threat of North Korea is just one of the challenges we face as a nation.
Russia is believed to have 4,300 nuclear weapons, followed by the US with 4,000. There are 9,400 nuclear weapons in military arsenals, with another 5,600 awaiting dismantlement. Nearly 4,000 nuclear weapons are operationally available; 1,800 are ready for use on short notice.
The largest Russian bomb, if dropped on New York City, would kill 7.6 million people.
In addition, China is expanding its economic and military power and influence. Proxy wars in the Middle East involving Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel threaten to escalate.
Dan Coats, the US Director of National Intelligence, testified earlier this year before a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “We face a complex, volatile and challenging threat environment. The risk of interstate conflict is higher than any time since the end of the Cold war–all the more alarming because of the growing development and use of weapons of mass…
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