North Korea says it won't denuclearize unless US removes threat

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States removes its nuclear threat first.

The statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency on Thursday comes amid a deadlock in nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea. It raises further doubts on whether leader Kim Jong Un will ever relinquish an arsenal he may see as his greatest guarantee of survival.

Kim and President Donald Trump met June 5 in Singapore where they issued a vague goal for the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula without describing when and how it would occur.

Follow-up talks have stalled with the North insisting that U.S.-led international sanctions against the country be removed first before any progress in denuclearization.