North Korea threatens to cancel Trump-Kim summit over South Korea-US military drills

Dictator Kim Jong-un was set to meet with U.S President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore but the meeting is now reportedly at risk

Kim Jong-un with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the DMZ (Image: EPA)

North Korea has reportedly threatened to cancel the much anticipated Trump-Kim summit over the South Korea-US military drills. According to South Korean news agency, Yonhap News, North Korea said has said it is canceling high-level talks planned for later in the day. “The North’s Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and US air forces are a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties,” the site reports. “The high-level talks were meant to take place on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss follow-up measures to the two Korean leaders’ summit last month. Kim Jong-un was set to meet with Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore. A historic meeting meeting Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently took place at the DMZ, with Kim becoming the first North Korean leader to cross over into the South in 65 years. Moon briefly crossed over into the North while holding Kim’s hand. Last week North Korea announced on state media it will dismantle its nuclear test site just weeks ahead of the summit.The rogue nation will start to take the facility apart on May 23, with international media watching. The country’s central news agency said the dismantlement of the nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts. Journalists from other countries, including the United States and South Korea, will be invited to cover the event. The nuclear site that will be dismantled is located in Pukyung, and the area around Pumyeong nuclear test site will also be closed. Last month, five nuclear test blasts in Pyongyang, under Mount Mantap, tore open a hole in the mountain which then collapsed upon itself. Researchers also found that breakdown created a “chimney” which could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone below to rise into the air. Now, U.S. intelligence showed North Koreans had already started pulling cables from the tunnels at their nuclear test site. This week three Americans held prisoner by the communist country were released and flown back to the USA. The choice of Singapore as the site of the first-ever meeting of a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader was as much because it was within reasonable flight time and distance from Pyongyang as because of the island state’s political neutrality, a South Korean presidential official told reporters. But experts say the process could take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to USA Today. Olli Heinonen, an arms control expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a national security think-tank, said: “This would be the biggest undertaking by the international community when it comes to denuclearization or disarmament.”