May 21, 2018

North Korea may pull out of summit with USA over Washington's pressure

18 May 2018, 05:38 | Winston Chapman

Prime minister says Trump-Kim summit will be 'great success'

North Korea suspends talks with South

At his meeting with Xi, the leader of the North Korean delegation, Pak Thae Song, said he had been entrusted with consolidating recent agreements between Kim and Xi as well as studying China's model of economic development and "reform and opening".

Xi has met twice with Kim over the past two months in what is seen as an attempt to ensure China's interests are upheld in any negotiations between the USA and North Korea.

Trump maintains the scheduled June 12 meeting in Singapore is on track, despite the North's threat on Wednesday to cancel over concerns about the US push to see the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Press Secretary of the White house Sarah Sanders said that the USA alone the statement of North Korea, and will continue to closely coordinate its actions with its allies, according to Voice of America.

A high-level meeting between the two neighbours had been scheduled for Wednesday, but the North pulled out early that morning over joint military exercises between the United States and the South.

The US State Department said planning for the summit goes on.

"We're still hopeful that the meeting will take place and we'll continue down that path but at the same time we've been prepared that these could be tough negotiations", Ms Sanders said in an interview with Fox News.

"We haven't been notified at all", Trump said.

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The U.S. and communist North Korea have been at odds since the 1940s.

North Korea had announced that it was reconsidering its participation in the summit, alleging that the U.S. wanted to pressurise it to accept a complete unilateral nuclear disarmament, a condition which it termed unacceptable.

North Korean state media cited current military exercises between Seoul and the USA as the reason.

"We have already stated our intention for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and made clear on several occasions that precondition for denuclearisation is to put an end to anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States", Kim said.

"We'll have to see", Mr Trump told reporters on Wednesday in the Oval Office when asked if the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was still on.

Experts said the demands were standard operating procedure for Pyongyang.

North Korea also announced early Wednesday that it was "indefinitely" postponing inter-Korean talks planned for later in the day.

The North also cancelled high-level talks due Wednesday with Seoul because of US-South Korean military air exercises, denouncing the drills as a "rude and wicked provocation".

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