(From AP News)
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Wednesday threatened to scrap a historic summit next month between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump, saying it has no interest in a “one-sided” affair meant to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons.
The warning by North Korea’s first vice foreign minister came hours after the country abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea to protest U.S.-South Korean military exercises that Pyongyang has long claimed are invasion rehearsals.
The surprise moves appear to cool what had been an unusual flurry of outreach from a country that last year conducted a provocative series of weapons tests that had many fearing the region was on the edge of war. Analysts said it’s unlikely that North Korea intends to scuttle all diplomacy. More likely, they said, is that Pyongyang wants to gain leverage ahead of the talks between Kim and Trump, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
The North’s warning Wednesday fits a past North Korean pattern of raising tensions to bolster its positions ahead of negotiations with Washington and Seoul. But the country also has a long history of scrapping deals with its rivals at the last minute.