The U.S. says it will continue preparations for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un despite the North’s abrupt cancellation of high-level talks with South Korea and threat to pull out of the planned U.S. summit. 

The North cited the ongoing military exercises between Seoul and Washington as the reason for its sudden change of heart. 

Shortly after the cancellation early Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a regular news briefing that Washington has not heard anything from Seoul or Pyongyang to indicate that it should not continue conducting the military exercise or stop planning for the summit. 

The spokeswoman also dismissed the North' criticism that the Max Thunder air drills are an act of provocation against the regime, pointing out that the North Korean leader has expressed his understanding and recognized the necessity of the joint drills between the U.S. and South Korea.