N Korea cancels talks with South Korea and warns US
Tuesday - 15/05/2018 18:00
NORTH Korea is refusing to go to a high-level summit with South Korea and says it may cancel its meeting with the US over American military drills.
NORTH Korea has cancelled a high-level summit with South Korea and threatened to ditch its much anticipated meeting with the United States as well.
Kim Jong-un is due to meet Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12, and North and South Korea were supposed to hold talks in the demilitarised zone today.
But joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States have angered the North, Yonhap says, citing North Korea’s state media outlet KCNA.
KCNA claimed that the military drills were a rehearsal for a potential invasion of the country.
NORTH KOREA TO JOIN ANTI-NUCLEAR EFFORT
It came as North Korea planned to join international efforts to implement a total ban on nuclear weapons tests, an ambassador for the country told the United Nations disarmament body overnight.
“DPRK will join international desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests,” North Korea’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea’s official acronym.
His comment came amid a recent whirlwind of diplomacy and outreach by the long isolated regime, and ahead of a historic summit next month between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.
Kim last month announced that his country would halt its own nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, which was widely hailed as an important step towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula.
But Pyongyang has yet to rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it withdrew from in 2003.
It is also one of eight countries with nuclear test capacity, including the United States, China and Iran, which have so far failed to either sign or ratify the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, blocking it from taking effect.
Han, who made no reference to the treaties, told the UN assembly that his country aimed to make more “efforts to achieve the development of intra-Korean relations, defuse acute military tensions and substantially remove the danger of the war on the Korean peninsula”.
“It will make sincere efforts ... to establish a durable lasting peace mechanism” with its neighbour to the south, he said, urging the international community to “extend its active support in encouraging and promoting the current positive climate.”
The recent diplomatic frenzy comes after years of tensions and ever-tightening sanctions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Asked about the continued threats of sanctions from Washington, Han warned overnight that they were “a dangerous attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue”.