Trump-Kim summit in lurch, but US going ahead with preparations: Highlights

North Korea abruptly announced a suspension of high-level inter-Korean talks scheduled for Wednesday, citing ongoing US-South Korean military drills and also threatened to pull out of a summit with US President Donald Trump if Washington pushes it to give up nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the “Max Thunder” drills between the South Korean and US Air Forces “were a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties”.
It also called into question whether June 12 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump would go ahead as planned.
The two-week US-South Korea exercise kicked off on Friday, involving some 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters and an unspecified number of B-52 bombers and F-15K jets.
Kim’s statement, carried by the state media, said that if the US “corners us and unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons we will no longer have an interest in talks” and “will have to reconsider” attending the summit in Singapore.
He said North Korea did have “high hopes” but that it was “very unfortunate that the US was provoking us ahead of the summit by spitting out ludicrous statements”.
In an angry statement, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan accused the US of harbouring sinister intentions. He pointed the finger squarely at US National Security Adviser John Bolton.The inter-Korean 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 in April.The summit agreement, billed the Panmunjom Declaration, called for formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War within the year and pursuing “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim also agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other, open a joint liaison office in the North’s border city of Kaesong and push various economic cooperation projects.
Pyongyang accused Seoul and Washington of carrying out large-scale air drills against Pyongyang before the “ink on the declaration had a chance to dry”.
Seoul’s Unification Ministry said it was informed of the meeting’s “indefinite postponement” in a notice sent by Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, a North Korean agency in charge of inter-Korean exchange.
It is a sudden and dramatic return to the rhetoric of the past by Pyongyang, after months of rapid diplomatic rapprochement on the peninsula.Here are the top highlights on North Korea suspending inter-Korean talks and threatening to call of Trump-Kim summit:1. Why is North Korea threatening to call of Trump-Kim summit? North Korea on Wednesday threatened to cancel the forthcoming summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump if Washington seeks to push Pyongyang into unilaterally giving up its nuclear arsenal.“If the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue,” first vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by state media.In that case, he added, Pyongyang would have to “reconsider” its participation at the summit, due in Singapore on June 12.The North’s arsenal is expected to be at the top of the agenda of the historic talks, but Pyongyang has long insisted it needs the weapons to defend itself against invasion by the US.