DONALD TRUMP said he had not been notified about North Korea’s threat to cancel his planned summit with Kim Jong-un next month.
The US president added he would still insist on Pyongyang scrapping its nuclear programme if the June 12 meeting went ahead.
North Korea has issued a threat to withdraw, saying it had no interest in a ‘one-sided’ affair meant to pressure it into abandoning its nuclear weapons.
But as he welcomed the president of Uzbekistan to the White House yesterday, Mr Trump said ‘we haven’t been notified at all’ about the threat.
‘We haven’t seen anything. We haven’t heard anything. We will see what happens,’ he added.
China has urged its ally North Korea to proceed, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang saying the sides should ensure the meeting runs as planned and yields ‘substantial outcomes’. Mr Lu said the summit was crucial to reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining regional peace and stability.
The North’s warning came hours after it abruptly cancelled a high-level meeting with South Korea, in protest over US-South Korean military exercises.
South Korea’s defence ministry said the exercises, which North Korea has denounced as rehearsals for an invasion, will go on. Spokeswoman Choi Hyunsoo said the Max Thunder drills were chiefly about improving the skills of pilots, and were not attack exercises.
The drills, which began on Monday and include around 100 aircraft, will continue until Friday next week.
The US state department said Mr Kim had previously indicated he understood the purpose of the joint exercises.