North Korea Threatens to Cancel Trump-Kim Summit Over Drills

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.

“We are no longer interested in a negotiation that will be all about driving us into a corner and making a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes and this would force us to reconsider whether we would accept the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting,” the first vice foreign minister, Kim Kye Gwan, said in a statement carried by state media.

He criticized recent comments by Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, and other U.S. officials who have said the North should follow the “Libyan model” of nuclear disarmament and provide a “complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement.” He also took issue with U.S. views that the North should fully relinquish its biological and chemical weapons.

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