Pyongyang Slams Japan's 'Hostile Behavior' Ahead of N Korea-US Summit

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U.S. President Donald Trump is looking forward to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and an announcement on the date and location could come soon, the White House said Monday.

Trump told the National Rifle Association's annual convention on Friday that he had toned down his rhetoric before the talks.

Trump is due to meet Kim to discuss the North's nuclear weapons program in the first-ever meeting of sitting leaders from the two countries, with the US president saying Friday that the two sides had decided on a time and place. The report did not give further explanation.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose ratings at home have nosedived in recent times, will also hold bilateral talks with the Chinese and South Korean leaderships on the sidelines of the summit, it was reported by The Straits Times. Any summit at the border village could also divert the spotlight from the attention-hungry Trump to Moon, who has solidified a role as a mediator in the process. "The fact that it was also the backdrop for the inter-Korean summit last month is perhaps the main factor counting against it".

The comments mark the first criticism from North Korea since Trump announced plans to meet with Kim later this year. "It may be liable to lead to the result of reviving our "threat" against the US", it added. Other possible sites reportedly included Mongolia and Switzerland.

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On Sunday, the North said its intention to denuclearize, unveiled at the inter-Korean summit, was not the result of USA -led sanctions and pressure, warning the United States not to mislead public opinion, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The three powers are also expected to issue a joint statement over trilateral cooperation towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula but they are yet to reach a consensus on the wording of the key document, Nikkei Asian Review cited Japanese sources as saying recently, the reason being the differences between Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul over how to go about over Kim's pledge for a "complete denuclearisation" as has been stated in the historic Punmunjeom Declaration which was jointly made by North and South Korea in April.

The remarks threatened to undermine the current "atmosphere of dialogue", the spokesman for the North's foreign ministry said. Trump has said his aim is to get rid of the North's nuclear weapons program, which is posing a growing threat to the region and the USA mainland.

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