North Korea has canceled a summit with South Korea and has threatened to call off a summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un over American military drills with South Korea, according to South Korean media reports
Pyongyang has canceled talks with Seoul due to ongoing Max Thunder military exercises between the South and the US, Yonhap news agency cited North Korean media. The drills have been described by the North as a rehearsal for invasion of the DPKR and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties.
The Max Thunder drills are one of a number of joint military drills carried out by South Korea and the US in the Korean peninsula. North Korea has long viewed these drills as a show of aggression towards Pyongyang.
The two-week Max Thunder air force drills kicked off on Friday, with over 100 planes taking part, including F-22 fighters and B-52 bombers, Yonhap reported last week.
The report comes hours after Seoul and Pyongyang agreed on Tuesday to hold high-level inter-Korea talks on May 16. The leaders were planning to discuss steps needed to follow the plan of the peninsula’s demilitarization.
“Through this practical exercise, the air forces of South Korea and the U.S. plan to improve aerial operations techniques,”an anonymous South Korean official told Yonhap.
AFP reported that North Korea has also threatened to scrap the highly-anticipated summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting is scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.