(Bloomberg) -- The White House pushed back on reports that the scheduled nuclear talks with North Korea could be unraveling, saying President Donald Trump is ready to meet next month despite a threat pull out from Kim Jong Un’s regime.
“He’ll be there, and he’ll be ready" White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Trump in a Fox News interview Wednesday, adding that North Korea’s threat to back out of a denuclearization summit isn’t out of the ordinary.
"We’re ready to meet, and if it happens that’s great, but if it doesn’t we’ll see what happens," she said. "If it doesn’t we’ll continue the maximum pressure campaign that has been ongoing"
Kim Kye Gwan, a North Korea disarmament negotiator, said the regime was disappointed by recent comments from the U.S. on their goals for the summit, according to a statement published Wednesday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. He singled out National Security Adviser John Bolton’s statement over the weekend that the U.S. would follow a “Libya model” in the talks.
“If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit,” Kim said. He added that Trump risked becoming a “more tragic and unsuccessful president than his predecessors” if he didn’t accept North Korea as a nuclear power.
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