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North Korea threatens to scrap Trump summit over military drills

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Donald Trump’s historic meeting with Kim Jong-un has been thrown into uncertainty as North Korea warned it could be cancelled over US military exercises

The North’s Korean Central News Agency[KCNA] unexpectedly announced talks with South Korea had been postponed just hours before they were due to start because of the military drills. 

America was also warned that “careful deliberations” would need to take place over whether to go ahead with Mr Trump’s planned meeting with Kim. 

The reaction was to the ‘Max Thunder’ joint military exercises from America and South Korea that reportedly involve 100 war planes including B-52 bombers and F-15K jets. 

The news blindsided the US State Department, which said it had received no “formal or informal” notification that the meeting was off. 

A spokesman said there was nothing “provocative” or illegal about the military drills and insisted US officials would continue to prepare for the Trump-Kim summit. 

Last week it was announced that Mr Trump will meet Kim on June 12 in Singapore to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. 

Kim vs Moon comparison side by side

The meeting was the culmination of a diplomatic drive from North Korea that saw Kim meet South Korean president Moon Jae-in last month

Further talks were planned between both countries on Wednesday but just hours before the meetings North Korea announced it was pulling out because of military exercises. 

“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,” the KCNA reported, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

Donald Trump had been set to meet with the North Korean leader on 12 June Credit:  KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters

“The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities.”

Joint US-South Korea military drills have long been criticsed by North Korea, which has framed the moves in the past as preparations for an invasion. 

Heather Nauert, the US State Department spokesman, said the military exercises were “certainly not provocative” and said Kim had previously said he “understands” the need for them to take place. 

Video: Trump announces he will meet Kim Jong-un to pursue peace

 

She said there had been “no formal or even informal notification” that the US-North Korea summit was cancelled, adding: “We will continue to go ahead and plan the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jung-un.”

Separately, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Han Tae-song said yesterday that the country plans to join international efforts to implement a total ban on nuclear weapons tests

Kim Jong-un has the USA and South Korea exactly where he wants them

A satellite survey conducted by American researchers also showed yesterday that the regime had begun dismantling facilities at its nuclear test site.

 



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