It is going ahead with preparations for Meeting with NKorea: US

Vastavam web: The US today 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.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.”We have not heard anything from that government or the Government of South Korea to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un next month,” she told reporters.

According to Col Rob Manning, the Pentagon Spokesperson, Republic of South Korea and US military forces are currently engaged in the recurring, annual South Korea-US drills, to include exercises Foal Eagle 2018 and Max Thunder 2018. “These exercises are part of the ROK-US Alliance’s routine, annual training program to maintain a foundation of military readiness,” he said.”They’re certainly not provocative. These are things that we do all around the world with many of our partners and allies. These are things that have occurred for decades and decades,” Nauert said.

At the same time, she ruled out the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaching out to the North Koreans.”I don’t think he’s picking up the phone and begging anybody to do anything at this point. We are operating under the idea and the notion that the president’s meeting is going forward with Chairman Kim next month,” Nauert said in response to a question. “The joint exercise is a reflection of the invariable stand of the US and South Korea to persist in the ‘maximum pressure and sanctions’ against DPRK (North Korea),” it said.

DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is more commonly known as North Korea.Meanwhile, North Korea also cancelled its planned high-level inter-Korean talks with South Korea due to the South Korea-US military exercises.North Korea held the South Korean authorities “wholly accountable” for the scuttled North-South talks and unease in the North-South relations.