US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expected in June may be delayed.
Trump said that there is a “substantial chance” that his summit with Kim may not “work out for June,” while he was receiving South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in at the White House.
“There’s a very substantial chance that it won’t work out, and that’s OK,” said Trump, adding, “that doesn’t mean it won’t work over a period of time. But it may not work out for June 12.”
Trump’s remarks came a week after North Korea’s comments that criticised the joint drills between US and South Korean forces, threatening to pull out of the summit with Trump if the US continues to insist on the North unilaterally surrendering its nuclear weapon programme.
Meanwhile, North Korea accused US National Security Adviser John Bolton of making “reckless” remarks when he said on 13 May that the US kept the “Libya model” of denuclearisation in mind ahead of its meeting with North Korea.
Bolton was referring to Muammar Gaddafi, who agreed to give up his nuclear weapons in 2003 in exchange for the US relaxing sanctions on the North African country.
The foreseen summit is scheduled to take place on 12 June in Singapore; it follows another significant meeting between North and South Korean leaders last month.
In April, North Korea, in a goodwill gesture, said it will halt nuclear and missile tests, as well as shut down a nuclear testing site located in the north of the country, stating that it prefers to shift its national focus on improving its economy rather than its military.
Earlier this month, North Korea said it will begin dismantling its nuclear test site between 23 and 25 May, announcing that it will hold a ceremony and invite foreign journalists to observe the event. However, it has been delayed due to bad weather.