North Korea Threatens to Pull Out of Summit

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North Korea on Wednesday said it might not attend the summit if Washington continues to demand it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that officials "haven't heard anything. that we wouldn't continue with [military] exercises and planning for summit".

Other officials, however, insisted that they were taking North Korea's warnings in stride, noting that Mr. Kim, not Mr. Trump, had sought the meeting. "And if it doesn't, we will continue the maximum pressure campaign that has been ongoing", she added.

Kim Kye Gwan wrote that the United States' offer of extending "economic compensation and benefit" to North Korea in exchange for getting rid of its nuclear weapons is insufficient, and criticized National Security Adviser's John Bolton's comments about Libya serving as a model for North Korean denuclearization.

"The president is ready if the meeting takes place". Xi Wednesday hosted a meeting with its leader Pak Thae Song, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the North's ruling party.

The planned June 12 summit in Singapore marked an end to decades of failure of USA administrations to get North Korea to the table for talks.

Seoul's financial markets took the threats in stride, with traders viewing it as a negotiating tactic on the part of the North Korean leader.

"The joint exercise is a reflection of the invariable stand of the United States and South Korea to persist in the "maximum pressure and sanctions" against DPRK (North Korea)", it said. Then, the North issued a statement that if the US demands that the regime dismantle its nuclear arsenal before the summit, then there will be no summit.

The North and South Korean Olympic teams march together in the opening ceremony for the Winter Games.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Kim had previously indicated he understood the need and goal of the USA continuing its long-planned joint exercises with South Korea.

The president has expressed optimism over the upcoming meeting in recent weeks, but has maintained that the U.S.is prepared to scrap the meeting or walk away from the table if it appears that denuclearization is unlikely.

The White House has responded by saying it is still hopeful the meeting will go ahead.

KCNA also denounced the Max Thunder joint military exercises being held between the USA and South Korea as a "rude and wicked provocation", and Seoul said it had received a message cancelling planned high-level talks "indefinitely".

North Korea has long condemned such exercises as war preparations, although allied drills earlier this year did not disrupt diplomatic improvements.

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