WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday it was ready to proceed with next month's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, putting the ball back in Pyongyang's court after it threatened to scrap the meeting.
"If the North Koreans want to meet, we'll be there," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told journalists, adding that the White House schedule had not changed.
"The president is prepared and will be ready to meet, and we're continuing to move forward with the preparations at this point."
After weeks of warm words and diplomatic backslapping, Pyongyang on Tuesday abruptly threatened to pull out of the planned June 12 summit, blaming US demands for "unilateral nuclear abandonment."
In an angrily worded statement, the North warned "if the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue."
Sanders, however, said North Korea was "not in the driver's seat. Nothing could be further from the truth."
"They're the ones that extended the invitation. If they're happy to meet, we're happy to do that," she added.