Trump on summit with North Korean leader: We'll see

U.S. President says his administration has received no direct contact from North Korea about its concerns with next month's summit.

Elad Benari,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday reacted cautiously to North Korea’s threat to pull out of a planned nuclear summit with leader Kim Jong Un.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said his administration has received no direct contact from Pyongyang about its concerns with the summit scheduled for next month.

"We haven't been notified at all. We'll have to see," Trump said during a meeting with Uzbekistan’s president, according to The Hill. "We haven't received anything, we haven't heard anything. We will see what happens."

North Korea on Tuesday said that the planned summit next month between Trump and Kim is at risk because of joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

In a statement carried by its official news agency KCNA, North Korea said it was ending talks with South Korea. The statement also strongly suggested that the drills threatened the fate of the historic summit.

An official in Pyongyang also said later that the summit between Trump and Kim was in jeopardy over U.S. demands that it quickly surrender its nuclear arsenal.

“If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit,” North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan was quoted as having said.

The North Korean official said Kim was angered by national security adviser John Bolton's suggestion that the Trump administration could use a “Libya model” with North Korea.

Former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was driven out of power with the help of NATO forces just eight years after negotiating a denuclearization agreement with the U.S.

Trump said on Wednesday he will insist on full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during possible talks with Kim, despite North Korea’s rhetoric.

“Yes,” Trump said when asked if a nuclear-free peninsula was still his demand, according to The Hill.

Trump announced just last week that his historic meeting with the North Korean leader would take place on June 12 in Singapore.

The details of the meeting were finalized during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s second visit to North Korea.

At the conclusion of Pompeo’s visit, North Korea released three American citizens held by the rogue regime – a key condition to moving forward with talks, which Pyongyang hopes will lead to the end of U.S. sanctions.

U.S. officials recently said that North Korea had directly confirmed that Kim was willing to negotiate about potential denuclearization. Kim later announced himself that his country would close its nuclear test site and suspend long-range missile tests.

Trump on the weekend welcomed the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear test site, saying the move is "a very smart and gracious gesture".


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