“If it doesn’t we’ll continue the maximum pressure campaign that’s been ongoing”, she told Fox and Friends.
Its chief negotiator dismissed the South Korean authorities as incompetent and senseless.
North Korea cancelled high-level talks scheduled for Wednesday with South Korea due to the ongoing so-called Max Thunder drills being conducted by Washington and Seoul.
Trump’s planned June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore is shaping up to be one of the biggest foreign policy tests of the Trump administration. That, too, is raising complaints from North Korea.
Chief negotiator Ri Son-gwon reverted to the angry language the north has used before, in comments reported by state news agency KCNA.
Bolton and North Korea have history, previously clashing when Bolton worked in the Bush administration.
In the historic summit, the leaders of the divided Koreas agreed to pursue complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to halt their countries’ hostile acts against each other. Asked if he will still insist on denuclearization, the president said, “Yes”.
While speaking to reporters following the return of three American hostages from North Korea last week, Trump said, “My proudest achievement will be – this is part of it – when we denuclearize that entire peninsula”.
She said the exercises are long-planned, are defensive in nature and are meant to ensure the readiness of US and South Korean forces.
The State Department emphasized that Kim had previously indicated he understood the need and goal of the USA continuing its long-planned exercises with South Korea.
“They’ve been negotiating like nothing happened”, he added.
What has upset North Korea? Last year’s exercise included roughly 1,200 United States personnel and about 640 South Koreans and this year’s drill is similar. The North has long claimed such exercises are rehearsals for an invasion.
Kim said North Korea felt “repugnance” toward National Security Adviser John Bolton and rejected a “Libya model”, in which the regime quickly gives away its nuclear weapons.
“The Libya model was a much different model”.
What does this mean for the nuclear issue?
While he has read news reports about the North Korean statements and spoken with the South Koreans, Trump said the North Koreans have yet to signal plans to cancel the summit. Analysts have suggested Pyongyang will have bristled at the notion North Korea could suffer the same fate if it makes concessions on its nuclear program.
“It looks like Kim Jong Un was pushed into accepting United States demands for “denuclearisation-first” but is now trying to change its position after normalising North Korea-China relations and securing economic assistance”, he added.