North Korea has no interest in US summit if based on giving up nukes
North Korea said on Tuesday that it will back out of a scheduled summit with President Trump if the US insists on denuclearization in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
The top diplomat for the nuclear-armed North said it will reconsider the summit and that Trump will “remain a failed leader” if he follows the path of past presidents.
“We will not be interested in talks anymore if (they) only try to push us unilaterally into a corner and force us to give up nukes,” Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said in a statement carried by the state media.
“It would be inevitable to reconsider whether to respond to the upcoming summit with the U.S.”
The announcement came after the North nixed a high-level summit with South Korea, citing joint US-South Korean military drills off the peninsula.
Earlier on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the US was still planning to have the talks, despite the North’s cancellation of the South Korean summit.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier on Tuesday that the US “will look at what North Korea has said independently, and continue to coordinate closely with our allies.”
The scheduled June 12 summit in Singapore would be the first meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader.
The meeting was expected to be a major diplomatic achievement for Trump.