North Korea is threatening to cancel its upcoming, much-anticipated summit with the United States – and it already cancelled a high-level meeting with South Korea – because the U.S. and South Korea are conducting a military drill.
The North views such military drills as practice for invasion of its country, even though the drill has been scheduled for some time now, and military drills often take place.
A North Korean official also criticized U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, whom the regime has referred to as “human scum” in the past when he worked under the Bush Administration. North Korea had criticized the way the U.S. dealt with Libya and Iraq at the time.
“This is not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially a manifestation of awfully sinister move[s] to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq, which had been collapsed due to the yielding of their countries to big powers,” said North Korean’s Vice Minister Kim Gye Gwan.
“[The] world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq, which have met a miserable fate. We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide a feeling of repugnance towards him,” Gwan added.
North Korea has said it is not interested in a “one-sided” meeting where the country would be the only party expected to make concessions, including denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Some experts speculate that North Korea might expect the U.S. to remove its military presence from the Korean Peninsula if it wants to achieve denuclearization.
The White House is saying officials are still hopeful the summit will take place, and plans are proceeding as if that’s the case.
North Korean state-run media outlet KCNA issued a report this week about the threat to cancel the Trump-Kim summit, which South Korean news agency Yonhap first reported on Tuesday, local time in the United States.
“The North’s Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and U.S. air forces are a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties,” Yonhap reported.
North Korean state media KCNA released the following statement:
“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 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.”
North Korea views such military drills as practice for invasion of its country.
North Korean state media KCNA recently reported on a press release from the North Korean regime that officials have scheduled a ceremony to dismantle the country’s nuclear site on May 23, and they are inviting international press to attend in a rare opening up of the regime unlike the world has ever seen before.
This development comes days after North Korea released three American detainees to Secretary of State Pompeo on his second visit to the isolated regime in weeks, and President Trump announcing that the highly anticipated summit with Kim Jong Un will be held in Singapore on June 12.