White House Downplays North Korean Threats To Cancel Summit With Trump, But U.S. Military Drills Are Being Downscaled

New York Times: White House Brushes Aside North Korea’s Threats to Cancel Summit With Trump

WASHINGTON — The White House brushed aside threats by North Korea on Wednesday to cancel an upcoming summit meeting between President Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, saying it was still “hopeful” the meeting will happen — but that Mr. Trump would be fine if it did not.

“The president is ready if the meeting takes place,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told Fox News on Wednesday. “And if it doesn’t, we will continue the maximum pressure campaign that has been ongoing.”

White House officials said they were taking North Korea’s latest warnings in stride, in part because Mr. Kim, not Mr. Trump, had sought the meeting. They said they expected the North to maneuver for tactical advantage in the run-up to the meeting, which is scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

In its warning on Wednesday, North Korea said Mr. Kim could withdraw from the meeting over Washington’s demand that it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal.

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Update #1: White House downplays North Korean threat to scrap nuke talks (The Hill)
Update #2: Kim Jong Un just tested Trump ahead of the planned summit — and Trump may be caving already (Business Insider)

WNU Editor: The South Koreans are saying that the exercises will continue .... Max Thunder exercise proceeds as planned: Defense Ministry (Korea Herald). But the U.S. is down-scaling their participation .... B-52 bomber excluded from drills after North Korea complains (UPI).

Update #3: The U.S. is also walking back from these statements .... White House appears to walk back Bolton’s “Libya model” comments (CBS).

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