In Brief

North Korea threatens to pull out of US summit

Pyongyang has also abruptly cancelled high-level talks with the South

North Korea has said it will cancel an historic summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump if the US continues to demand that Pyongyang  give up its nuclear weapons unilaterally.

“The US is talking about giving us economic rewards and benefits when we give up nuclear weapons,” North Korea’s first vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kim Kye Gwan, said. “We have never built our economy expecting things from the US and will never do such a deal in the future.

“If they try to push us into a corner and force only unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in that kind of talks and will have to reconsider the upcoming summit.”

The cancellation of the summit would “deal a devastating blow to growing hopes that a deal might be struck between Kim and Trump” over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, says The Australian.

Pyongyang had earlier abruptly cancelled high-level talks with the South, which were due to be held later today, citing joint military exercises currently being conducted South Korea and the US.

North Korean state media said that the drills between the US and South Korean air forces, called “Max Thunder”, are a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid easing tensions between the North and the South.

Thedrills, which had been scheduled to take place around the time of the Winter Olympics in South Korea “were postponed because of an unexpected thaw in North-South relations”, says the BBC.

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