North Korea turns on 'incompetent' South


President Donald Trump suggested that China was behind North Korea's threat to cancel a meeting with Kim Jong-un, in remarks to reporters on Thursday.

The President did seek to distance himself from a comment by his national security adviser, John Bolton, that had irked the North Koreans, dismissing talk of applying the "Libyan model" to the denuclearization of North Korea and reassuring Kim he will remain in power if he gives up his nuclear weapons.

North Korea threatened to pull out of the 12 June summit in Singapore, if the United States insists it give up its nuclear programme.

Last month, Bolton told CBS News' "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan the US was "looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004", when Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to completely end his nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The site's closure was set to come before the Kim-Trump summit, which had been shaping up as a crucial moment in the decades-long push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North, which is closing in on the ability to viably target the mainland United States with its long-range nuclear-armed missiles.

North Korea, however, sees the gruesome death of Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 as justification for its own nuclear development amid what it describes as USA threats.

South Korea to continue urging North Korea to follow up on the decisions taken in their recent agreements as part of the inter-Korean summit. If the summit is scrapped, "we go on to the next thing", added Trump.

The neighbouring nations, which fought together during the Korean war, had grown apart past year after China backed United Nations sanctions crimping North Korea's energy imports and sources of foreign cash in a bid to pressure it to halt its nuclear and missile tests.

For decades, Washington has watched in horror as North Korea - propped up by trade with China - has made a series of technological leaps toward building a missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon to USA cities.

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"I can only say our people are literally dealing with them right now in terms of making arrangements for the meeting", he said. "If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize", Pompeo said, "the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends". Similarly, the North has noted that Muammar Qaddafii agreed to a deal with President George W. Bush's administration to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for a security guarantee.

How does North Korea see it?

Trump reiterated that as far as he knew the meeting with Kim was still on track. "Now, that model would take place if we don't make a deal, most likely".

South Korea's government has yet to weigh in on the suspension of talks.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Sept. 3, 2017.

The U.S. responded to Pyongyang's threat to cancel the summit by stating Thursday that preparations for the summit will move forward.

"If it doesn't we'll continue the maximum pressure campaign that's been ongoing", she told Fox & Friends.

The current US-South Korean aerial combat drills known as Max Thunder involve almost 100 warplanes carrying out exercises over the Korean peninsula.