US says it is ‘going ahead’ with preparations of summit
The US on Wednesday said that it is going ahead with preparations for a meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month after an angry Pyongyang threatened to cancel the historic summit, alleging that America was trying to push it “into a corner” on nuclear disarmament.
North Korea has threatened to abandon planned talks between Kim and Trump in June if Washington insists on pushing it “into a corner” on nuclear disarmament.
A statement published by the State-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said North Korea would never accept economic assistance from the US in exchange for unilaterally abandoning its nuclear programme.
In the meeting on June 12 in Singapore, the two countries were expected to discuss ways to implement their leaders’ recent agreements to reduce military tensions along their heavily fortified border and improve their overall ties.
The statement that comes after a brief hiatus in the war of words between Trump and Kim is likely to mar efforts towards building a denuclearised Korean Peninsula.
Reacting to the reports, the White House said it would independently look at what Pyongyang has said. The State Department said it was going ahead with preparations for the summit as planned earlier.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the US is aware of the media reports from North Korea.
“The United States will look at what North Korea has said independently, and continue to coordinate closely with our allies,” Sanders said.
The State Department said it is continuing with the preparations for the summit and there has been no word from North Korea on the ongoing exercises.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Kim had previously indicated he understood the need and purpose of the US continuing its long-planned joint exercises with South Korea.
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