Breaking News

White House: U.S. still planning Trump-Kim summit

North Korea canceled a high-level meeting Wednesday with South Korea and also threatened to call off a historic summit planned for next month with President Trump due to ongoing military exercises involving the U.S. and South Korea. But the White House said the U.S. will continue to plan the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The Trump administration will "independently" evaluate North Korea's reported threat to pull out of the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday.

The statement provided to reporters came just hours after Yonhap News Agency, the Seoul-based media outlet, reported that North Korea had abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea and were mulling withdrawing altogether from the highly-anticipated meeting between Trump and Kim over ongoing military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

North Korea's state-run Central News Agency called the exercises between South Korea and the U.S. a "provocation," Yonhap and Reuters reported.

“We are aware of the South Korean media report," Sanders said. "The United States will look at what North Korea has said independently, and continue to coordinate closely with our allies.”

The White House spokesperson did not say whether planning for a meeting with Kim would continue. But earlier Tuesday, the State Department vowed that talks to set up the summit would "absolutely" go on amid reports of Pyongyang's frustration with the military drills.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters during a briefing that the agency had "received no formal or even informal notification of anything" relating to the tests or the summit from North Korean officials, adding that discussions about the gathering with top U.S. officials would continue.

“Absolutely, we will continue to go ahead and plan the meeting with Kim Jong Un,” she said when asked if planning for the summit would go on.

Nauert pushed back on the characterization of the drills as provocative, saying the exercises "are things that we do all over the world with many of our partners and allies."

The State spokesperson pointed to Kim's own past remarks on the drill to a delegation of South Korea officials, whom he reportedly told he "understands" their position on the matter.

No comments