North Korea announced that it has canceled a scheduled May 16 summit with South Korea, The South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Tuesday, citing North Korea’s state media outlet, KNCA.
North Korea and South Korea had agreed “to hold high-level inter-Korea talks on May 16 to discuss steps needed to uphold the pledge to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said,” CNBC reported.
The country also threatened to cancel a scheduled June 12 summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Singapore.
According to KNCA, North Korea canceled the South Korean summit because of U.S. military drills with South Korea. The state media outlet claimed the drills were a rehearsal for a potential invasion of the country, Fox News reported.
This unexpected news come after several positive developments between North Korea and the United States in the past month.
In what many viewed as a goodwill gesture ahead of the scheduled summit between Trump and Kim, three Korean-Americans were welcomed home to the U.S. on Thursday after being released from the North Korean regime.
Leading up to the captive’s release, Secretary Mike Pompeo had what he called “productive meetings” with the North Korean leader in the country’s capital of Pyongyang.
Trump then announced the details of the historic summit, saying “we will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace.”
The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
Finally, North Korea announced over the weekend that it would be holding a ceremony later this month to destroy its nuclear testing site.
A statement from the country’s foreign minister promised that “all of the tunnels at the country’s northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed,” ABC News reported.
Trump praised the decision, calling it a “very smart and gracious gesture.”
Pompeo told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Friday that the United States will come along side North Korea if they fulfill their pledge to denuclearize.
“If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends,” he said.
The story surrounding North Korea’s announcement to cancel one or more of the upcoming summits is still developing.
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