North Korea has suspended high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday because of the U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Pyongyang said the military drills threaten the warming up of ties between the belligerent countries on the Korean Peninsula.
KCNA, the official news agency of North Korea, has also cast doubt over the next months’ scheduled summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.
KCNA said: “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.”
BREAKING: KCNA says North Korea will "reconsider" summit with Trump if U.S. insists on it giving up nuclear program, says it will never give up its nuclear program in exchange for economic trade with the United States
— Josh Smith (@joshjonsmith) May 16, 2018
KCNA added: “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.”
However, the U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told the reporters that she had not received any ‘notification’ if Pyongyang ‘s position has been changed.
Ms. Nauert said: “Kim Jong-un had said previously that he understands the need and the utility of the United States and the Republic of Korea continuing in its joint exercises. We will continue to plan the meeting.”
Announcing to suspend the high-level bilateral talks between South and North Korea, KCNA said: “We cannot but take a step of suspending the north-south high-level talks scheduled on May 16 under the prevailing seriously awful situation that a mad-cap north-targeted war and confrontation racket is being kicked up in South Korea.”
"This is something that we fully expected," said @PressSec this morning of North Korea threat to scrub summit with Pres Trump. "If they want to meet we’ll be ready and if they don’t, that’s okay too," said Sanders, in a WH driveway gaggle with reporters. pic.twitter.com/xDYXV5dQ2F
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 16, 2018
Pyongyang has discouraged Washington to regard the Korean warming ups on North Korea’s part as something “allowed any time and any-hour.”
“If the U.S. and the south Korean authorities regard the phase of improving inter-Korean ties and the DPRK-U.S. dialogue provided by the proactive and broadminded efforts and measures of the DPRK as something allowed any time and any hour, then they are sadly mistaken.”
The KCNA reminded the U.S. that “there is a limit in showing goodwill and offering opportunity.”
The North Korean new position, however, comes as a massive blow for the Trump administration as the White House was apparently preparing the Trump-Kim summit as one of the signature success of this administration.