Anchor: North Korea has cancelled high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday and threatened to scrap a planned summit with the U.S. over ongoing military exercises between Seoul and Washington.
Kim In-kyung has the details.
Report: Less than a day after agreeing to hold high-level inter-Korean talks to follow up on President Moon Jae-in's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang abruptly informed Seoul that it was indefinitely postponing the talks.
The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, which handles relations with the South, delivered the news of the cancellation to Seoul's Unification Ministry shortly after midnight Wednesday.
North Korean state media cited the annual Max Thunder air drills between South Korea and the U.S. as the reason for the surprise decision.
The Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) called the two-week-long exercise, which kicked off Friday and includes about 100 aircraft, an "intended military provocation." It said the drills are an "apparent challenge" to the Panmunjeom Declaration made at last month's inter-Korean summit, where the two leaders agreed to reduce military tensions.
Blaming South Korea for the suspended meeting, the North also called into question whether next month's talks between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump can go ahead as planned.
According to the KCNA, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan warned that Pyongyang will reconsider the summit if it comes under continued pressure to "unilaterally" abandon its nuclear program.
The vice minister said in a statement that the communist regime is not interested in any nuclear talks in which it is coerced and driven into giving up its nuclear arsenal. He also criticized U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's calls for a Libya model of denuclearization first, rewards second.
Kim, however, added that when the Trump administration addresses the summit with sincerity it will get a proper corresponding response from North Korea.
Kim In-kyung, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : YONHAP News]