North Korea claims President Trump played no part in its recent decision to open peace talks with longtime enemies.
Instead, Pyongyang asserted Sunday that the Trump administration was “misleading” the public by believing it compelled North Korea to the negotiating table.
The bold statement comes weeks before North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is set to have a historic sit down with the President.
The White House and some Republican lawmakers have argued it was Trump’s brazen threats against North Korea, as well as rounds of sanctions, that brought the isolated country to the talks. But the hermetic nation argued the victory lap was unmerited — and killing the mood.
“The U.S. is deliberately provoking the DPRK at the time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in remarks carried by state-run media.
The White House is making a “dangerous attempt,” the spokesman continued, to undo Kim’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In — during which the longtime enemies announced a framework for peace after a six-decade standoff.
Kim and Moon walked away from the late April summit without many details on what North Korea would require to get rid of its nuclear weapons.
Trump told reporters Friday a date and location have been set up for his own historic meeting with Kim either later this month or in early June.
He added “very good things” might come from the talks, but denied reports the U.S. would scale down its troop presence in South Korea.
North Korea, in its statement Sunday, warned its openness to discuss denuclearization shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
And it railed against the U.S. for “pressure and military threats” that continue against North Korea, and Washington’s assertion that those won’t give until all nuclear weapons are gone.