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Don’t miscalculate peace loving intention as weakness, says Pyongyang

Amidst preparations for a planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang has criticized, what it called “misleading” claims that Trump’s policy of exerting maximum political pressure and sanctions have brought North to the negotiating table and called it a “provocation”.

According to North Korea Times, a spokesman  for the North Korean foreign ministry told the state run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), “It would not be conducive to addressing the issue of the US miscalculates the peace loving intention of the DPRK (North Korea) as a sign of ‘weakness’ and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats.”

Read More: North and South come closer on Korean Peninsula

The spokesman also warned that the claims are a “dangerous attempt” to ruin a budding détente on the Korean Peninsula after Kim’s summit last month with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The North Korean official also alleged that US claims are misleading that Pyongyang is motivated by fear of US military strength and concerns about aggressive economic sanctions put in place because of North’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea has also described movement of US military assets in to the region as “a dangerous attempt to ruin the hard earned atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one.”

Read More: South Korea divided on future of US forces presence

Earlier South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency had reported that US military assets including F-22 stealth fighter jets were recently sent to participate in the joint annual South Korea-US air training.

US President Donald Trump and other US senior officials have recently suggested repeatedly that Washington’s tough policy toward North, along with pressure on its main trading partner China have played a decisive role in turning around what had been an extremely tense situation.

They argue that just last year, as Kim was launching long-range missiles at a record pace and trading vulgar insults with Trump, it would have seemed unthinkable for the topic of denuclearization to be on the table.

Read More: US, China welcome N Korea halt on Nuclear, Missile tests

Prior to the US-North Korea summit, Washington is expecting the release of three Korean-Americans accused of anti-state activities. Trump has hinted in one of his tweets about the possible release of Kim dong-chul, Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim.

Associated Press reports that there was no sign of an imminent release on Sunday, though the men had reportedly been moved to the capital Pyongyang.

Prior to his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at White House on May 22 “to continue their close coordination on developments regarding the Korean peninsula.”

During the landmark summit with Moon Jae-in, North Korean President Kim Jong-un had recently agreed to a number of measures aimed at improving North-South ties and indicated his willingness to discuss the denuclearization of the peninsula.

Observers believe that North Korea’s statement on Sunday seemed to be aimed at strengthening Kim’s position before going into his meeting with US President Donald Trump. Pyongyang claims that Kim himself is the driver of the current scenario.

Meanwhile, Seoul based The Korea Times has reported that Singapore has emerged as the most likely venue for the planned summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Earlier the summit was expected to be held in demilitarized zone on the border between North and South Korea.

The daily, quoting multiple sources further reports that summit will likely take place between June 9 and 15, after Trump attends the G-7 Summit scheduled to be held on June 8 and 9 in Qubec, Canada.

Moreover, The Korea Times has published a report based on interaction with Seoul public praising US President Donald Trump for peace efforts. One of the respondent has reportedly said, “Trump may be less refined and often use coarse language, but it seems he is doing everything he can to resolve them. I did not like Trump at first, perhaps because how media represented him, but now I support him and his way of handling North Korea.”

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