North Korea casts doubt on Kim-Trump summit, rejects total disarmament

Lester Mason
May 18, 2018

In response to the Maximum Thunder exercises, North Korea canceled scheduled meetings with South Korean officials Wednesday at Panmunjom on the Demilitarized Zone that were expected to work out details on the Trump-Kim summit.

A statement from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday said the White House was "aware of the South Korean media report" and that the United States "will look at what North Korea has said independently, and continue to coordinate closely with our allies".

Cancellation of the summit, the first between USA and North Korean leaders, would deal a major blow to what would be the biggest diplomatic achievement of Trump's presidency.

She said the model that would be followed in dealing with North Korea was "the President Trump model". "We'll have to see", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Asked if Kim is bluffing, he replied, "We'll see what happens".

Earlier Wednesday, Sanders clarified the administration's plan if the summit were to be canceled.

"The original conflict of interests endures", said Van Jackson, a strategy fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and a former US Department of Defense adviser.

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The nuclear word Trump and Kim can't agree
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption The nuclear word Trump and Kim can't agree

"The president is ready if the meeting takes place. If not, that's okay". But so far the North has not given any public indication of what concessions it is offering, beyond euphemistic commitments to denuclearisation of the "Korean peninsula". The site that is known by the name "The Punggye-RI site" that is located in the northeast side of North Korea has been used for testing of various nuclear tests.

He said that the administration was still pursuing denuclearisation and that United States officials hadn't yet been notified of North Korea's concerns, which were expressed in a statement by First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan.

Our nation fought a war to defend South Korea from the North's aggression - a war that cost more than 35,000 American lives. Then in a more ominous development, it warned that if the White House required the dismantling of its nuclear arsenal up front, there was little point in talking.

South Korea's presidential Blue House said it would seek to bridge the gap between the Washington and Pyongyang.

Trying to address the North Korean concerns, the president said that if Kim were to agree to denuclearize, "he'll get protections that would be very strong". "He is going to run this the way he sees fit".

Separately, Bolton said the deputies committee of the National Security Council held a meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE and was working to prepare options for Trump "as soon as we can".

Sanders appeared reluctant to endorse the Libya model that the outspoken and hawkish Bolton has touted, most recently on U.S. television on Sunday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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