The United States has responded to North Korea's suspension of the planned high-level talks with South Korea.
In a statement Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the U.S. is aware of the cancelation and that it will look independently at what North Korea has said, and "continue to coordinate closely with its allies."
The statement came after Pyongyang appeared to call into question its planned summit with Washington as well.
According to CNN, a senior administration official said meetings were held among officials from the White House, the National Security Council and the Defense Department, and that the White House is preparing its response.
Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said they will move ahead on the assumption the talks are happening.
(English- reuters 2224)
"We are operating under the idea and the notion that the president's meeting is going forward with Chairman, with Chairman Kim next month."
Nauert denied that the drills are provocative, saying the U.S. forces train "all over the world with many of their partners and allies," and that this new statement would seem to contradict what Kim Jong-un said earlier.
"I will say that Kim Jong Un had said previously that he understands the need and the utility of the United States and the Republic of Korea continuing in its joint exercises. They're exercises that are legal, they are planned well, well in advance."
Nauert went on to say that the news had just come out, so that they need to verify it.
The Pentagon defended the military exercises in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the annual exercises are part of the allies' routine, and that the purpose of the training is to enhance their ability to defend South Korea.
Park Heejun, Arirang News.