partlycloudy
Tuesday May 22nd, 2018 3:36PM

Trump: US hasn't been notified about threat to cancel summit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid fresh uncertainty over his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is committed to pressing for the country to abandon its nuclear program as part of any meeting.

North Korea threatened earlier in the day to scrap the historic summit between Trump and Kim, saying it has no interest in a "one-sided" affair meant to pressure the North to abandon its nuclear weapons. But Trump appeared to shrug off the warning saying the U.S. hadn't been notified.

"We haven't seen anything, we haven't heard anything," Trump said as he welcomed the president of Uzbekistan to the White House. "We will see what happens."

The warning from North Korea's first vice foreign minister came after the country abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea to protest U.S.-South Korean military exercises that the North has long claimed are an invasion rehearsal.

Behind the scenes, White House aides tried to soothe South Korean frustrations over the canceled meeting with the North as they continue to plan for the summit, set for June 12 in Singapore, as if nothing had changed. U.S. officials compared the threat to Trump's own warning that he might walk away from the summit if he determines Kim is not serious about abandoning his nuclear program.

The direction from the Oval Office to White House aides and other U.S. national security agencies Wednesday was to downplay the North Korean threats and not "take the bait" by overreacting to the provocation, said a senior U.S. official. The official wasn't authorized to discuss internal conversation publicly and requested anonymity.

National Security Adviser John Bolton told Fox News Radio Wednesday that "we are trying to be both optimistic and realistic at the same time."

Bolton, who was called out by name by the North for saying that the U.S. is seeking an outcome similar to Libya's unilateral nuclear disarmament, said the personal attack raised the question of "whether this really is a sign that that they're not taking our objective of denuclearization seriously."

North Korean first vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by state media that "we are no longer interested in a negotiation that will be all about driving us into a corner and making a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes and this would force us to reconsider whether we would accept the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting."

In its commentaries published through the state-run news agency, North Korea steered clear of criticizing Trump himself and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who last week met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the second time in little more than one month and brought home three American prisoners. That suggested it still wants the summit to go ahead.

But it also took the opportunity to air its own negotiating position and take aim at Bolton, who has suggested that negotiations in 2004 that led to the shipping of nuclear components to the U.S. from Libya under Moammar Gadhafi would be a good model for North Korea as well — although Gadhafi was deposed seven years later following a NATO-led military campaign. The North on Wednesday described that proposal as a "sinister move" to bring about its own collapse.

North Korea may have also been responding to aims for the summit aired by Bolton and Pompeo in Sunday morning talk shows last weekend.

Bolton told ABC that denuclearization means getting rid of all the North's nuclear weapons, dismantling them and taking them to Oakridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. developed its atomic bomb during World War II and retains a nuclear and high-technology research laboratory. Bolton added that North Korea would have to get rid of its uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing facilities, reveal their weapons sites and allow open inspections.

The toughest of North Korea's statements was issued in the name of Kim Kye Gwan, who was a leading negotiator of an aid-for-disarmament deal that collapsed under the G. W. Bush administration at a time when Bolton was serving as undersecretary of state for arms control and North Korea was suspected of secretly seeking to enrich uranium.

The State Department emphasized that North Korea's leader had previously indicated he understood the need and purpose of the U.S. continuing its long-planned exercises with South Korea. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. had not heard anything directly from North or South Korea that would change that.

"We will continue to go ahead and plan the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un," Nauert said.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday that preparations for the summit were ongoing despite the cancellation threat and that Trump is hopeful the meeting will still take place.

"If it doesn't, we'll continue the maximum pressure campaign that's been ongoing," she told Fox & Friends.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said he is concerned that talks are "really being oversimplified" by the White House.

"This is not a like condo deal where two people sit down and hash out a number of outstanding issues and then they say 'Well, some lawyers can write it up,'" he said.

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Pennington, Jill Colvin, Josh Lederman, and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Any doctor on board? US surgeon general gives aid on plane
Is there a doctor on board? No less than the U.S. surgeon general steps forward to help with medical emergency aboard a commercial flight
9:47PM ( 28 minutes ago )
SEC visionary: Former Commissioner Mike Slive dies at 77
Mike Slive, the former Southeastern Conference commissioner who guided the league through a period of unprecedented success and prosperity and was an architect of the College Football playoff, has died at 77
9:37PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Quakes damage roads as ash spews from Hawaii volcano
Quakes damage roads and buildings as ash spews from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano
9:35PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions
President Donald Trump reveals in his financial disclosure that he reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen as much as $250,000 for unspecified "expenses"
9:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Liberal tilt in some primaries a sign of Democratic fervor
Democratic voters are choosing decidedly liberal candidates in some primary elections for House races viewed as key to the congressional majority
8:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Jailed man said Paddock railed about government
A man who met Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock less than a month before the Oct. 1 attack told authorities that Paddock had ranted against the government and warned that law enforcement and the military would start confiscating guns
8:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Trump rails against California for its immigration policies
President Donald Trump is hammering California for its so-called sanctuary immigration policies
7:32PM ( 2 hours ago )
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee
Republicans are pushing for a quick confirmation vote for President Donald Trump's CIA nominee Gina Haspel
7:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
Turkish banker gets 32-month sentence in Iran sanctions case
A judge has sentenced a Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions to 2 years 8 months in prison
6:55PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
DA: Children in California home were strangled, waterboarded
Prosecutors allege that the children rescued from a filthy California home were strangled, punched, shot with bb guns and subjected to waterboarding by their father and their mother did nothing to stop it
7:06PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP analysis shows how Bill Gates influences education policy
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates saw an opportunity with a new federal education law that has widespread repercussions on American classrooms
7:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
Unapologetic Trump Jr.: Not troubled that I met with Russian
Donald Trump Jr. told a Senate panel that he didn't think there was anything wrong with meeting a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election
6:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
House OKs expansion of private care at VA, budget crisis fix
House votes to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the Veterans Affairs health system
8:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Judge to decide Florida ban on smokable medical marijuana
A Florida circuit court judge will soon decide if patients approved to use medical marijuana will be allowed to smoke it
6:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
House OKs expansion of private care at VA, fix budget crisis
House votes to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the Veterans Affairs health system
6:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Lars von Trier on his controversial Cannes return
Once 'persona non grata,' Lars von Trier has returned to Cannes with more provocation in the serial killer drama 'The House That Jack Built'
5:53PM ( 4 hours ago )
More Chilean sex abuse victims speak up during pope summit
A group of Chilean church sex abuse victims is making its voice heard as the country's Catholic leadership meets with Pope Francis, demanding that the Vatican recognize crimes, cover-ups and the need for reparation
5:02PM ( 5 hours ago )
EU chief lashes out at Trump amid new push to save Iran deal
A top European Union official has branded President Donald Trump selfish and capricious as EU leaders met to count the likely economic damage U.S. policies might inflict on the bloc and to try to rescue the Iran nuclear deal
4:38PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP World News
Trump disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions
President Donald Trump reveals in his financial disclosure that he reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen as much as $250,000 for unspecified "expenses"
9:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Any doctor on board? US surgeon general gives aid on plane
Is there a doctor on board? No less than the U.S. surgeon general steps forward to help with medical emergency aboard a commercial flight
9:47PM ( 28 minutes ago )
SEC visionary: Former Commissioner Mike Slive dies at 77
Mike Slive, the former Southeastern Conference commissioner who guided the league through a period of unprecedented success and prosperity and was an architect of the College Football playoff, has died at 77
9:37PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Quakes damage roads as ash spews from Hawaii volcano
Quakes damage roads and buildings as ash spews from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano
9:35PM ( 41 minutes ago )
The Latest: Jailed man claims Paddock ranted before shooting
A man who says he met Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock less than a month before the Oct. 1 attack told authorities that Paddock had ranted against the government and warned that law enforcement and the military would start confiscating guns
9:32PM ( 44 minutes ago )