North Korea Cancels Talks With South Korea, Threatens To Pull Out Of Summit With USKim Jong-Un and Donald Trump.

North Korea has cancelled high-level talks with South Korea that were to be held later on Wednesday (16 May). Pyongyang also threatened to pull out a scheduled summit with the United States (US), pointing at the ongoing military exercises between Washington and Seoul as the reason.

The BBC said that North Korea threatened to cancel a summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un scheduled on 12 June if Washington insisted on Pyongyang giving up its nuclear weapons. The BBC’s correspondent in Seoul said that North Korea was making its demands clear.

North Korean vice-foreign minister Kim Kye-gwan has reportedly said that if the US “unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons we will no longer have an interest in talks”. The BBC correspondent said North Korea’s latest move was a “survival tactic”.

ABC quoted North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) calling the US-South Korean "Max Thunder" air combat drills a provocation that spoilt the warming North-South Korean ties. The agency found the involvement of US stealth fighters and B-52 bombers objectionable.

"This exercise, targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula," KCNA was quoted as saying.

Washington should undertake efforts to create an atmosphere for mutual respect and confidence before the dialogue between the two Koreas could begin. Terming the exercise “foolish”, KCNA said such moves would reverse the goodwill that had been created with much effort.

The US State Department, however, denied that it had any information on the threats to cancel the Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit.

The Trump administration will have to be careful in its approach on the fate of the summit with Pyongyang in view of the exercise with South Korea, KCNA said.

A US State Department spokeswoman said Washington would go ahead for the planned summit, while a White House spokesperson said the North Korean statement would be examined.

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