INTERNATIONAL

North Korea suspends talks with South, threatens to nix US summit

Seoul, May 16: 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 Trump would go ahead as planned. “The US will have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities,” the KCNA report said.

“This (joint military) exercise targeting us… is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive development on the Korean Peninsula,” the report said. “We have no choice but to suspend the North-South high-level talks planned for the 16th.”

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”. (IANS)

Won’t allow anything threatening India’s security: N Korea
New Delhi, May 16: Even as North Korea keeps the world in suspense over its proposed talks with the US and South Korea, the East Asian nation has given its assurance that it will not allow any action that will create concerns for India’s security. The assurance came during Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh’s two-day visit to North Korea that concluded on Wednesday. This was the first ministerial-level visit from India to North Korea in 20 years. (IANS)