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North Korea may pull out of summit with US over Washington’s pressure

May 16, 12:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Pyongyang had cancelled the May 16 talks with Seoul in the wake of the joint South Korean-US military drills

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© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Pyongyang may reconsider its decision to participate in a summit with the US in case Washington continues demanding unilateral denuclearization, North Korean First Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said on Wednesday.

"If the US president’s administration is interested in improving North Korean-US relations, we will respond positively to a summit proposal," he said as cited by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). "However, we are not interested in talks aimed at making us abandon nuclear weapons unilaterally," Kim Kye-gwan pointed out, adding that "there is nothing left for us to do but reconsider our decision to hold a summit with the US."

The senior North Korean diplomat also criticized a statement made by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, in which he had said that the Trump administration would open huge economic prospects for Pyongyang in case it fully abandoned its missile and nuclear programs. "The United States is talking about providing us with economic benefits if we give up nuclear weapons. We never expected the US to build the [North Korean] economy and will never accept such a deal in the future," Kim Kye-gwan said.

On Tuesday, KCNA reported that Pyongyang had cancelled the May 16 talks with Seoul in the wake of the joint South Korean-US military drills dubbed Max Thunder, which had kicked off on May 12. Pyongyang also questioned the planned North Korean-US summit.

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