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North Korea threatens to cancel summit with Trump over military 'ruckus' with South Korea

Business Insider | May 16, 2018, 12.40AM IST

Kim Jong Un

Reuters

  • The North Korean government threatened to cancel the impending summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reports.
  • The threat came amid ongoing joint military drills involving South Korea and the US.
  • Kim's government warned the US will "have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus."
  • Trump's summit with Kim, which would focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, was planned for June 12 in Singapore.

The North Korean government threatened to cancel the impending summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over ongoing joint military drills involving South Korea and the US, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday.

According to the report, North Korea's state-run news agency claimed the military exercises amounted to a rehearsal for an invasion, which has been a common complaint from the rogue state when such drills have occurred in the past.

Kim's government warned the US will "have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus."

North Korea also on Wednesday reportedly canceled a planned summit with South Korea due to the drills, known as Max Thunder.

Max Thunder, which occurs annually, began on May 11 and was set to last for two weeks. The military exercise involves US and South Korean aircraft and roughly 1,500 air force personnel.

Trump's summit with Kim, which would focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, was planned for June 12 in Singapore.

In 2017, North Korea conducted a series of long-range missile tests, leading to a war of words between Trump and Kim. The tests also led the international community to issue harsh economic sanctions against Kim's regime.

But North Korea shifted its tone and behavior in 2018, rekindling relations with South Korea and opening up the possibility for dialogue with the US.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit in late April, in which they pledged to work toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nukes and the formal cessation of the Korean War. The conflict has technically been ongoing since the fighting stopped via an armistice in 1953.

The summit's cancellation would represent a major blow to Trump's foreign policy agenda.

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