North Korea said it is suspending high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday due to U.S.-South Korean military exercises that it said went against the trend of warming North-South ties.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency also cast doubt on whether next month’s summit between North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump could go ahead as planned, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
“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,” Yonhap quoted KCNA as saying.
“The U.S. 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.”
Wednesday’s meeting was due to focus on plans to implement a declaration that emerged from an April 27 inter-Korea summit in the border village of Panmunjom, including promises to formally end the Korean War and pursue “complete denuclearisation,” the South’s unification ministry, which handles ties with the North, said on Tuesday.
KCNA called the U.S.-South Korean “Max Thunder” air combat drills, which it said involved U.S. stealth fighters and B-52 bombers, a “provocation” and said Pyongyang had no choice but to suspend the talks.