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South Korea downplays Pyongyang's threats to cancel talks

South Korea downplays Pyongyang's threats to cancel talks

North Korea has said it may skip the meeting if the U.S. continues to demand that it unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang on Wednesday responded strongly, saying that the country may reconsider the scheduled Trump-Kim summit because of extremely provocative remarks made by American officials.

Planned talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have also been thrown into doubt.

North Korea is obviously aware how much President Trump wants this summit, as Go Myong-Hyun points out.

The United States said it was not planning to reduce the scope of the ongoing military exercises with South Korea.

Meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today Mr Trump told reporters North Korea was "actually talking to us about times and everything else as though nothing happened".

If Pyongyang agrees to the demand, Washington is prepared to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to well-placed sources. "We'll keenly monitor how the United States and South Korean authorities will react".

China is North Korea's most important economic partner and has long sought to convince it to follow Beijing's path of enacting free market reforms while maintaining tight single-party rule.

North Korea's suggestion that it might pull out of the US summit pointed the finger squarely at US National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Not surprisingly, North Korea bristles at the mention of Libya. Bolton has repeatedly suggested the Libya model of unilateral disarmament for North Korea, most recently on Sunday.

Thursday's criticism of South Korea marks yet another shift in tone from Pyongyang just weeks before the planned United States summit, the BBC's Laura Bicker in Seoul says.




Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Washington this week in an attempt to find common ground with the USA leader amid ongoing sparring over trade between the two countries.

"It could very well be that he's (Chinese President Xi Jinping) influencing Kim Jong Un".

Last week, Trump had said he and Kim would try to make the summit a "very special moment for world peace".

Analysts said it is unlikely that North Korea intends to scuttle all diplomacy.

But Mr Trump warned that failure to make a deal could have grave consequences for Kim.

The US President Donald trump said that he was ready to provide protection to North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Ynu in the case of abandonment of the DPRK nuclear weapons. "His country would be very rich", Trump said.

"The Libyan model isn't a model that we have (in mind) at all when we're thinking of North Korea", Trump said while sitting at arm's length from Bolton in the Oval Office. "We think that the same thing that we thought yesterday, that it's an important conversation to have and it is something we are hopeful that does".

Last month, Bolton told CBS News' "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan the US was "looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004", when Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to completely end his nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief.

As for President Trump, so far, he has refrained from making a statement about the new developments leading up to the planned summit, either before the media or via his Twitter account.

At the summit between the leaders of North and South Korea on 27 April both sides agreed to work to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

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