President Donald Trump laid out a stark choice for North Korea's Kim Jong Un ahead of their planned summit next month: abandon nuclear weapons and be rewarded with "protections", or risk being overthrown and possible death if the arsenal remains.
On Wednesday, the North also threatened to cancel the unprecedented summit with the USA if it comes under continued pressure to "unilaterally" abandon its nuclear program.
First, the North demanded that the US stop joint military exercises on the peninsula with South Korea. "We haven't seen anything, we haven't heard anything, we will see what happens".
"Trump surprised everybody by accepting this summit quickly and I don't think the regime was expecting it", said Thiessen.
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South Korea apparently believes North Korea is still faithful to its commitment to denuclearize despite Pyongyang's decision to indefinitely suspend its cross-border dialogue with the South, an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae indicated on Wednesday.
According to US state Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Kim Jong-UN understands and is aware of the significance of such a military exercise for the United States.
North Korea is threatening to cancel its upcoming, much-anticipated summit with the United States - and it already cancelled a high-level meeting with South Korea - because the us and South Korea are conducting a military drill.
North Korea has long condemned such exercises as war preparations, although allied drills earlier this year did not disrupt diplomatic improvements.
"North Korea held the South Korean authorities "wholly accountable" for the scuttled North-South talks and unease in the North-South relations".
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"We can not but take a step of suspending the North-South high-level talks scheduled on May 16 under the prevailing seriously very bad situation", the KCNA said.
In the past, Pyongyang has demanded the withdrawal of United States troops stationed in the South, and an end to Washington's nuclear umbrella over its ally.
Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted in the article as saying the United States said "it would offer economic compensation and benefit in case we abandon (nuclear weapons)".
The North views such military drills as practice for invasion of its country, even though the drill has been scheduled for some time now, and military drills often take place.
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