(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Thursday that despite mixed signals coming from North Korea, President Donald Trump is ready to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and preparations are still being made for the summit in Singapore next month.
“Look, the president is prepared and will be ready to meet, and we’re continuing to move forward with the preparations at this point, and if the North Koreans want to meet, we’ll be there. And at this point, there is not a lot of change beyond that, and certainly not in our process,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, a senior official in Pyongyang said the North Korean regime is “not interested” in nuclear talks where it comes under pressure to “unilaterally” abandon its nuclear weapons.
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said the regime was not interested in talks that are an attempt “to push us unilaterally into a corner and force us to give up nukes.”
North Korea cancelled a planned summit with South Korea and suggested that the June 12 meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Trump in Singapore could be at risk as well.
North Korea is also upset about the joint-U.S.-South Korean military drills taking place in South Korea, calling them a “deliberate military provocation” that goes against the improving situation on the Korean peninsula.
When asked what game North Korea is playing, Sanders said, “You’d have to ask North Korea what game they’re playing. I can tell you what we’re doing, and we’re continuing to move forward in preparations. And the president, as we’ve said all along, will be prepared and ready to meet, and there’s really not a lot to add beyond that point.”
As far as what leverage the U.S. has as it relates to the having the June 12th meeting take place and accomplishing the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, Sanders said, “We’re continuing in the maximum pressure campaign, but again, nothing has changed on our end. This was an invitation that North Korea offered and that we’ve accepted, and we’re continuing to move forward in those preparations.”
“If I could just follow up on that. What the North Koreans also announced was they were stopping the dialogue with South Korea. So is it possible that there could be a meeting between the United States and North Korea if that whole dialogue between the North and South is on ice?” a reporter asked.
“The meeting that would take place on June 12th is between the United States and North Korea, should it take place. We’re going to meet with President Moon next week, and beyond that, again, there are no changes at this point to our schedule or anything else,” Sanders said.