Donald Trump still “ready” for North Korea summit | Spanlish


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Donald Trump still “ready” for North Korea summit

AP/Evan Vucci

AP/Evan Vucci

The much-anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is up in the air this week after reports of mistrustful comments from North Korea. However, the White House is reportedly moving forward as if the meeting is still happening.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that Trump is ready for the meeting, which is scheduled for June 12, in Singapore.

“The president is ready if the meeting takes place,” she said. “And if it doesn’t, we will continue the maximum pressure campaign that has been ongoing.”

Trump also spoke to reporters briefly on Wednesday. When asked whether the summit was still on, he said, “We’ll see what happens.”

He added, “We haven’t been notified at all” that the meeting has been cancelled.

All appeared to be on track for the meeting until news broke on Tuesday evening that North Korea had reportedly threatened to call off the meeting. According to NBC, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned the “provocative military racket" jeopardized the meeting. Specifically, the North Korean regime alleged that military drills involving South Korean and U.S. air forces appeared to be preparations for an invasion of North Korea.

Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's first vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign, was also quoted by KCNA as saying Pyongyang could end the possibility of the meeting at any time.

"If [the Trump administration] only pushes us into a corner and forces us to give up our nuclear weapons unilaterally, then we will no longer take interest in such a talk and would have to reconsider," Gwan said.

Moreover, other off-hand remarks from Trump Administration officials have raised eyebrows among North Korean political brass. National Security Adviser John Bolton suggested that Libya could be looked to as an example for North Korea’s denuclearization, a comment that did not bode well with North Korea. Former Prime Minister of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed in 2011.

“It is absolutely absurd to dare compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development,” Gwan said in the statement. “We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him.”

Alex Bell, the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, told Salon that there was good reason to be skeptical over the purported North Korea Summit.

“There’s not a lot of reason to trust the North Koreans based on our previous experiences with them,” said Bell, who was also the Director for Strategic Outreach in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the State Department under the Obama Administration. “There is no way to know if this is a real and honest path to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula unless we try.”

Source: Donald Trump still “ready” for North Korea summit

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