North Korea says it may back out of upcoming talks with Trump. On Wednesday, their state media said, if Washington keeps pushing the North to get rid of its nuclear weapons, it won't come to the table. It also called off high level talks with Seoul, which had set up the day before.
But weapons weren't the only sticking point. In an angry statement, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister singled out John Bolton, Trump's National Security Advisor, saying, quote, we do not hide our feelings of repugnance towards him. He then went on to reject what he called Libya-style denuclearization, where North Korea would hand over its arsenal to the US or other countries.
As Reuters Matt Spetalnick explains from Washington, it may all be political theater.>> Kim may be testing Trump's willingness to offer concessions, either before the summit or during the summit. There has been a great deal of doubt raised among analysts, and even our own sources within the Trump administration, about whether North Korea is truly willing to give up it's nuclear arsenal that threatens the United States.
>> Earlier this week, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said the US would lift North Korea's sanctions if Pyongyang agreed to get rid of its nuclear weapons. But on Wednesday North Korea rejected that idea, saying it would never give up its nuclear program for trade with the US.
This also comes as Washing and Seoul conduct Max Thunder, a major military drill that was immediately denounced by the North.>> The United States and South Korea postponed drills that had been scheduled or initially during the Olympics in February, and carried those out in April. North Korea was actually silent on the issue when those drills were taking place.
But this drill, which is much more of an air-combat variety, has particularly offended them.>> For now, the US State Department says it will operate on the assumption that the summit is still on. Any cancellation of the June 12 meeting in Singapore, the first between a serving US president and a North Korean leader, would be a major blow to Donald Trump.