North Korea threatens to cancel Trump summit

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On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly canceled a forthcoming summit with South Korea and threatened to pull out of the June 12 talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, claiming that ongoing U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also directly criticized Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, for saying North Korea could follow the so-called Libyan model for nuclear abandonment.

A statement published by the state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said North Korea would never accept economic assistance from the USA in exchange for unilaterally abandoning its nuclear program.

A North Korean official said earlier Wednesday that Pyongyang won't agree to US demands to give up its nuclear weapons unilaterally.

"The president is ready if the meeting takes place".

The North's displeasure was manifested in a statement issued by First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan that Pyongyang has no interest in a summit with Washington if it is unilaterally coerced into giving up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea's indefinite suspension of high-level inter-Korean talks is apparently created to express its discontent with strong US demands for immediate and complete denuclearization.

North Korea also cancelled high-level talks due Wednesday with Seoul over the Max Thunder joint military exercises being held between the United States and South Korea, denouncing the drills as a "rude and wicked provocation". The U.S. stationed troops in South Korea to guard against any attempt by the North to reignite military conflict in a war where no peace treaty was ever signed.

It left the White House scrambling to decipher Pyongyang's motives and analysts handicapping the prospects for the summit.

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North Korea believes that the military exercise threatens warming ties on the divided peninsula.

The call came as President Xi Jinping met with a delegation from North Korea's ruling Worker's Party, at which he expressed support for the North's avowed new emphasis on economic development along with improving relations with South Korea.

"We have already stated our intention for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and made clear on several occasions that precondition for denuclearisation is to put an end to anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States", Kim said.

But the White House said the Trump administration "fully expected" these demands from North Korea.

The North Korean state news agency accused Seoul and Washington of carrying out large-scale air drills against Pyongyang before the "ink on the declaration had a chance to dry".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US had not heard anything directly from North or South Korea that would change that.

On Tuesday, a DPRK state media article published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced the cancellation of a planned inter-Korean meeting on the same day over the Max Thunder joint U.S. -ROK military exercises now being staged in South Korea.

The exercises were "not provocative" and would continue, she added.

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