U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will see "what happens" as to the fate of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korea has threatened to call off the historic summit over ongoing military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, and protested U.S. demands for a "unilateral" dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program.
|This AP file photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)|
"No decision. We haven't been notified at all. We'll have to see," Trump said at the start of a meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. "We haven't seen anything. We haven't heard anything. We will see what happens."
Trump has said he expects the June 12 meeting in Singapore to be a success as the two leaders sit down to talk about the denuclearization of the regime. North Korea released three American detainees last week in a show of good faith, and Trump praised the North Korean leader for being "excellent" to the men who were held under questionable circumstances.
"We'll see what happens," Trump said again when asked if Kim could be bluffing.
Asked if he will still insist on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, he said, "Yeah."
Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, echoed the president's remarks.
"We are going to do everything we can to come to a successful meeting, but we are not going to back away from the objective of that meeting, which is complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea," he said in an interview with Fox News Radio.
The odds are still in favor of holding the summit as the U.S. tries to be "both optimistic and realistic at the same time," he added.
Bolton was singled out in North Korea's threats earlier Wednesday.
In a press statement, First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said the U.S. official's calls for a Libyan-style denuclearization process are "essentially a manifestation of (an) awfully sinister move" to impose on North Korea the fate of Libya or Iraq, which "collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers."
Bolton said he spoke by phone with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, following the North Korean threat to pull out of the summit
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, to thank him for the city-state's willingness to host the meeting, the State Department said.
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