A USA official said the North Korean statements had taken the White House off guard after North Korean leader Kim's diplomatic outreach to the United States and South Korea.
Responding to the North Korean threat to scuttle the Trump-Kim summit, the White House downplayed the parallels to Libya, claiming it had no plans to pursue an old model but would forge a new "Trump Model".
"If they haven't made a strategic decision that they're safer without nuclear weapons, that, as President Trump said, it could be a pretty short meeting in Singapore", Bolton said.
"Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the United States, we see the two parties as having a honest and serious attitude (to stand in each other's shoes)", the official said.
In an angrily worded statement, the North warned on Wednesday it may back out of the high-level summit if the United States pressures it to give up its nuclear arsenal.
"If they want to meet, we'll be ready", she told reporters on Wednesday, "and if they don't, that's O.K., too".
"Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the USA, we see the two parties as having a honest and serious attitude (to stand in each other's shoes)", the official said. "But at the same time, we've been prepared that these could be tough negotiations". -South Korea military exercises such as Foal Eagle, Key Resolve and Maximum Thunder as practice for an invasion.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters FILE
The announcement from Pyongyang appears to have taken the White House by surprise.
North Korea had announced it would publicly shut its nuclear test site next week.
The North Koreans have long considered the joint exercises to be a prelude to an invasion; the US and South Koreans have said the exercises are defensive in nature and have been conducted for years. You have to remember, that for a very long time, Kim has been talking about how nuclear weapons are the core of his rule and so it's very hard for him to go to the South Koreans and then the Americans and say look, I'm willing to give them up, you know, no big deal. "The defensive nature of these combined exercises has been clear for many decades and has not changed", he said.
The United States insists on a "complete", "verifiable" and "irreversible" dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program over a short period.
North Korea's threat to cancel the summit puts Trump in a very awkward position, after he's spent weeks portraying it as a key part of his historic legacy.
It's still unclear whether the North intends to scuttle all diplomacy.
. Pompeo also held out the prospect of USA private sector investment.
"The exercise will proceed as planned, and regarding that, there are no differences between South and the USA", the ministry said.
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