North Korean rhetoric heads south as Trump openly slaps down Bolton

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"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 can not but reconsider our proceeding to the [North Korean]-U.S. summit", said North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan. The United States and South Korea have kept joint military exercises low-key in response to North Korea's complaints, but mostly the Trump administration has held firm.

Yet, within the same statement, Trump also issued a veil threat at Kim Jong Un that he would meet a similar fate as Gaddafi if the U.S. and North Korea don't reach a deal on denuclearization.

The newspaper, citing several sources familiar with North Korean issues, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to have told the North Korean leader when they met this month that Pyongyang might be removed from a list of state sponsors of terrorism if it ships out those nuclear items.

Joshua Pollack at the Middleburg Institute of International Studies in California, said North Korea was "irritated by the USA administration's vow to maintain sanctions in spite of North Korean concessions", Reuters reported.

North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a US concession. She added the annual exercises are long-planned, defensive in nature and meant to ensure the readiness of US and South Korean forces. "And it's up to President Trump to make sure that they don't".

Trump should take a cue from President Richard Nixon.

After a few months of rapprochement, North Korea abruptly called off scheduled high-level talks with South Korea on Wednesday and warned the USA that a planned summit with President Donald Trump could be at risk.

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North Korea's announcement regarding the talks on Wednesday was in keeping with that position. Asked by CBS News' Brennan on "Face the Nation" last month whether it was a requirement that Kim "agree to give away those weapons before you give any kind of concession", Bolton replied, "I think that's right". Seoul also said it was planning to communicate closely with the USA and North Korea to ensure the success of the Trump-Kim summit. "And we will see what happens beyond that".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Sept. 3, 2017. He said the Libya model would only come into play "most likely" if a deal could not be reached with North Korea.

A senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on Friday that the presidential office can only "wait and see" in regard to Ri's strong warnings against the South.

In rambling remarks in which he also sharply criticized China over trade, Mr Trump said that as far as he knew the meeting with Kim was still on track, but that the North Korean leader was possibly being influenced by Beijing after having made two visits there recently. If the summit is scrapped, "we go on to the next thing", added Trump. There was no deal to keep Gadhafi.

Trump is making clear that he won't talk about USA troop levels in South Korea during the planned meeting with Kim on June 12 in Singapore. They want to know why the Treasury Department hasn't sanctioned banks in China and elsewhere that are still doing business with Pyongyang, as USA law requires.

Acting as a blow to the improving inter-Korean relations, North Korea unilaterally canceled the agreed-upon high-level talks slated for the same day.

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