President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S. hasn’t been notified about North Korea’s threat to cancel his planned summit with Kim Jong Un next month.
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. Trump maintained that he’ll still insist on the country’s denuclearization should the summit go on.
“We haven’t been notified at all” about the threat, Trump said as he welcomed the president of Uzbekistan to the White House.
He added: “We haven’t seen anything. We haven’t heard anything. 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.
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 to seek an outcome similar to Libya’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, said the personal attack raised question of “whether this really is a sign that that they’re not taking our objective of denuclearization seriously.”
Press secretary Sarah 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.
AP writers Jill Colvin and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.