Will see what happens, Trump says on North Korea threat to scrap talks
In the wake of North Korea's strong message by scuttling official-level talks with South Korea and threatening to cancel the June 12 summit between its Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, May 16, the American president said it was not clear whether his meeting with Kim scheduled in Singapore would still be held.
Trump told the media at the Oval Office that his administration would see what eventually happens. "We haven't seen anything, we haven't heard anything. We will see what happens," reports quoted him as saying.
Trump, who met his Uzbekistani counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the White House during the day, said he would continue to focus on the denuclearisation of North Korea.
North Korea said in a statement hours after cancelling the talks with South Korea early on Wednesday that it had little interest in a "one-sided" affair meant to force it to give up its nuclear weapons. Pyongyang took the strong step as a protest against the continuation of US-led drills with South Korea in the Korean Peninsula. South Korea, however, said that the drills would continue as per schedule as they were just related to aviation skills and not something about an invasion. Japan also backed the drills saying such exercises were necessary to maintain a deterrence in the region.
It was though not clear whether North Korea indeed wanted to reverse the peace process or just wanted to show Trump and his team that it would appear at the June 12 summit from a position of strength.
Meanwhile, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that Washington was "still hopeful" that the Trump-Kim talks would go as per the plan and that the threats from Pyongyang to cancel the meeting was something that did not surprise them.
China, North Korea's closest ally in the region, also hoped that the Trump-Kim meeting wasn't derailed.