Trump tells North Korea's Kim to denuclearise or risk overthrow

South Korea says military drills will go on

The official also groused about Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton, who referred to Libya as a model for denuclearization. "There was no deal to keep Gaddafi".

He rejected the notion that the Trump administration is using Libya as the model for the talks.

Following the news briefing, Trump said North Korea will get strong security protections and that the USA will not use a Libyan-style denuclearization process toward North Korea.

Trump's predecessors, including presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, also maintained North Korea policies that did not call for regime change.

Trump says his team is now making arrangements for the meeting scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

US and North Korean officials are expected to discuss how much of the stockpile can be taken out of North Korea within the six-month timetable during working-level talks prior to the summit.

"We are going to do everything we can to come to a successful meeting, but we are not going to back away from the objective of that meeting which is complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea", Mr Bolton had said.

Trump sounded a note of caution on Wednesday about his much-vaunted summit with Kim, saying "we'll see" after Pyongyang threatened to cancel.

North Korea has previously cited Libya as an example of why it wouldn't give up its nuclear weapons as this is what Gaddafi pledged to do in late 2003 and was subsequently overthrown from power and killed by rebels on October 20, 2011 with the help of US military support.

This was Trump in classic, unfiltered form.

"Now that model would take place if we don't make a deal, most likely", Trump told the Guardian. Kim's government understands this perfectly well.

Trump said he was not pursuing the so-called "Libya model" in getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. "It was incredibly reckless and risky".

How does North Korea see it?

"But I will say this, we are continuing to negotiate in terms of location, the location where to meet, how to meet, rooms, everything else, and they've been negotiating like nothing happened".

Bolton, who served in the State Department and as United Nations ambassador in the Bush administration, replaced Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster in April. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told parliament that North Korea and the United States had differences of views over how to achieve denuclearisation. On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Libya model of disarmament was not being discussed inside the West Wing.

"Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the United States, we see the two parties as having a honest and serious attitude (to stand in each other's shoes)".

The comments came a day after North Korea canceled a high-level meeting with the South because of the drills. Asked if he will still insist on denuclearization, the president said, "Yes".

Hours earlier, South Korea said it was pushing to reset the high-level talks with North Korea and planning to communicate closely with the United States and North Korea to increase the chances of a successful summit between Trump and Kim on resolving the nuclear standoff.

Pompeo, who returned from his second visit to Pyongyang last week with the freed Americans, has taken a softer line than Bolton, stressing the economic benefits, possibly including USA investment, that could flow to North Korea if it agrees to denuclearize.

Is the recent reluctance out of Pyongyang simply pre-negotiation posturing or is the meeting actually in jeopardy of falling through?

May 7: Kim makes another surprise visit to meet Xi in the Chinese coastal city of Dalian.

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He is in Washington this week for high-level talks to head off a potential trade war.

"Nothing has changed on North Korea that we know of", the president said.

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