The North Korea statement denounced the U.S. negotiating approach. In response, President Trump said the U.S. had not heard anything official from North Korea. “We haven’t been notified at all, we’ll have to see. We haven’t received anything, we haven’t heard anything. We will see what happens,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.” “If they want to meet we’ll be ready, and if they don’t, that’s OK too,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders communicated. Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was scheduled on June 12 in Singapore. North Korea complained about an annual military exercise with South Korea.
A Pentagon spokesperson called the exercises routine in nature. However, analysts cautioned that declaring the summit dead would be premature. “I could certainly see this as a negotiation strategy on North Korea’s part to paint the U.S. and South Korea as acting against good faith,” said Timothy Rich, an associate professor of political science at Western Kentucky University whose work focuses on East Asia. Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, said North Korea’s decision to “play hard to get” ahead of the summit shouldn’t be a surprise.