We will see on North Korea summit to insist denuclearisation: Trump

Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged on Wednesday it was unclear if his summit with North Korea would go ahead after Pyongyang threatened to pull out of the unprecedented meeting, a move that could deny him a potentially major foreign policy achievement.North Korea threw into doubt the June 12 summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and Trump on Wednesday, saying it might not attend if Washington continues to demand it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal. North Korea also called off talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday, blaming U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

Trump’s muted response was in marked contrast to just a few days ago when he exulted over North Korea’s release of three Americans, welcoming them home with praise for Kim and an expression of high hopes that the summit would produce “something very meaningful.”Trump’s aides – who, according to one U.S. official, were caught off guard by North Korea’s warning – were working on Wednesday to determine whether it was a negotiating ploy by Pyongyang or an attempt to scuttle the summit.

Trump has raised expectations for the summit even as many analysts have been sceptical about the chances of bridging the gap because of questions about North Korea’s willingness to give up a nuclear arsenal that it says can hit the United States.The White House said it was still hopeful the summit would take place, but Trump was prepared for a tough negotiation.Sanders said the North Korean comments were “not something that is out of the ordinary in these types of operations.” Pyongyang has a long history of threatening to walk away from negotiations if it does not get its way.

North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, Kim Kye Gwan, cast doubt on whether the summit, which is set for Singapore, would be held.He specifically criticized U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, who has called for North Korea to quickly give up its nuclear arsenal in a deal that would mirror Libya’s abandonment of its program for weapons of mass destruction.“We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him,” Kim, the vice minister, said.

In an interview with Fox News Radio, Bolton brushed aside the remarks against him and said odds were still in favour of the summit going ahead.“We are going to do everything we can to come to a successful meeting, but we are not going to back away from the objective of that meeting which is complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea,” he said.