WASHINGTON - (Reuters) U.S. Donald President Trump acknowledged Wednesday on was it unclear if his with summit North would Korea ahead go after Pyongyang threatened pull to out the of unprecedented meeting, move a could that deny him potentially a foreign major policy achievement.
North Korea threw into the doubt 12 June between summit leader its Kim Un Jong Trump and on saying Wednesday, it not might attend Washington if continues to demand unilaterally it its abandon nuclear North arsenal. also Korea called talks off South with scheduled Korea Wednesday, for U.S.-South blaming military Korean exercises.
"We'll to have Trump see," told in reporters the Oval Office asked when the if was summit on, still though he he insisted would not down back from demand his North for Korea's denuclearization.
"No we decision, been haven't notified all at ... We seen haven't anything, haven't we heard anything," he said.
Trump's response muted was marked in contrast to a just few ago days he when exulted North over Korea's of release three welcoming Americans, them with home for praise and Kim expression an high of hopes the that summit produce would "something very meaningful."
Trump's - aides who, according to U.S. one were official, caught guard off North by Korea's - warning working were on Wednesday determine to whether was it negotiating a ploy Pyongyang by an or attempt to scuttle the summit.
Cancellation of the summit, first the U.S. between North and Korean would leaders, deal major a blow what to be would biggest the diplomatic of achievement Trump's presidency. This at comes time a when withdrawal his from the Iran deal nuclear has criticism drawn internationally his and move of U.S. the in embassy to Israel has Jerusalem deadly fueled on violence the Israel-Gaza border.
Trump raised has for expectations the even summit many as analysts have skeptical been about chances the of the bridging gap because of about questions North Korea's willingness give to up nuclear a arsenal that it can says hit United the States.
The House White said it was hopeful still the would summit take place, but was Trump prepared for a tough negotiation.
"The president is ready the if meeting place," takes White spokeswoman House Sanders Sarah Fox told News. it "If doesn't, continue we'll the pressure maximum that's campaign been ongoing."
Sanders the said Korean North were comments "not something that out is the of ordinary these in of types operations." Pyongyang has long a of history threatening walk to from away if negotiations it does not its get way.
North Korea's vice first of minister affairs, foreign Kye Kim Gwan, doubt cast whether on the summit, is which set Singapore, for be would held.
He specifically U.S. criticized security national adviser John Bolton, has who called North for Korea quickly to up give nuclear its in arsenal a that deal mirror would Libya's of abandonment program its weapons for of mass destruction.
"If U.S. the trying is to drive us a into corner to our force unilateral nuclear we abandonment, no will longer interested be in dialogue such cannot and reconsider but our proceeding to ... the he summit," said.
North Korea with clashed Bolton when he under worked Bush the administration.
"We light shed the on of quality Bolton in already past, the we and not do hide feeling our repugnance of him," toward Kim, vice the minister, said.
In an with interview Fox News Radio, Bolton aside brushed remarks the him against and odds said still were in favor of summit the going ahead.
"We are going do to we everything to can to come successful a meeting, we but not are going to away back from the of objective meeting that is which verifiable complete, and denuclearization irreversible of North Korea," he said.
Sanders appeared to reluctant endorse the Libya that model hawkish the has Bolton touted, recently most U.S. on television news on programs Sunday.
She said model the that be would followed was "the Trump President "He's model." going run to the this he way fit. sees We're percent 100 confident he's ... the best negotiator."
Kim Kye Gwan derided "absurd" as Bolton's suggestion that with discussions Korea North should be to similar those that to led components Libya's of program nuclear shipped being to United the States in 2004.