23:47 GMT +323 February 2019
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    People pass by a TV screen showing file footages of U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 9, 2018

    White House 'Still Hopeful' Meeting Between Trump, Kim to Take Place

    © AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The White House is still hopeful that the Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un will go ahead as planned on June 12, Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an interview on Wednesday.

    "We’re still hopeful that the meeting will take place and we’ll continue down that path, but at the same time we know that these, we’ve been prepared that these could be tough negotiations," Sanders said in the interview with Fox News.  "The president is ready if the meeting takes place, and if it doesn’t we’ll continue the maximum pressure campaign that’s been ongoing.”

    South Korean media reported the day before that Kim had threatened to cancel the summit because of US-South Korean military exercises currently taking place.

    READ MORE: N Korea Vows to Join Global Efforts to Ban All Nuclear Weapons Tests

    This satellite image released and notated by Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North on April 12, 2017, shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea
    © AP Photo / Airbus Defense & Space/38 North/Pleiades CNES/Spot Image
    Following the reports, the US State Department said it had not heard anything to indicate that the meeting would not proceed as planned and was continuing with preparations.

    The same day, North Korea canceled talks scheduled for May 16 with Seoul due to the Max Thunder military exercise.

    The United States and South Korea launched a two-week annual air combat exercise on May 11. About 100 aircraft, including US F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft, are participating in the drills that will last until May 25.


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    Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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