Peace talks not the result of US pressure: N Korea
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Peace talks not the result of US pressure: N Korea

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Seoul: North Korea today warned Washington that claiming Pyongyang was forced into talks by US pressure risked returning the peninsula "back to square one", as the world awaits a landmark summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. The pair are set for the first ever face-to-face meeting between a sitting American president and North Korean leader, with a date and venue to be announced soon, Trump said Friday.

Their meeting comes after a historic summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarised zone that divides their countries, during which Kim gave a tentative commitment to ridding the North of its nuclear weapons and facilities. Trump has credited his "maximum pressure" campaign of tough rhetoric and tightened sanctions for a breakthrough with Pyongyang, saying last week that Washington's "strength is going to keep us out of nuclear war".

But a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry accused the US of "deliberately provoking" Pyongyang in an effort to undermine the current "atmosphere of dialogue". Describing Pyongyang's recent move as a "sign of weakness" would "not be conducive" to talks, and may "bring the situation back to square one", he added. The spokesman did not explicitly mention the Kim-Trump summit, and Pyongyang has yet to make any formal announcement of their planned meeting.

Tensions have run high between the two men over t...

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