Pyongyang, May 16: North Korea on Wednesday said it may reconsider attending a summit with US President Donald Trump if Washington unilaterally insists Pyongyang gives up nuclear weapons, according to media reports.
North Korean news agency KCNA quoted Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan as saying 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 whether we will accept the upcoming North Korea-US summit”.
Earlier in the day, in a sign of growing difficulties, the Kim Jong-un regime pulled out of talks scheduled with Seoul for Wednesday, mentioning the South Korea-US military drills, the BBC said.
The highly anticipated meeting between Trump and Kim is due to take place on June 12.
It came about after North Korea said it was committed to denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.
Delicate preparations were taking place for the Trump-Kim meeting, but this would throw it into doubt, the BBC reported.
Kim said North Korea “had high hopes that the summit would lead to the easing of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and count as a big step to build a great future.
“However, it is very unfortunate that the US is provoking us ahead of the summit by spitting out ludicrous statements.”
Korean officials from both sides were due to meet in the demilitarised zone between the two countries on Wednesday to discuss further details of the agreements they had made at the historic summit on April 27.
However, the North withdrew, angered by the start of large South Korea-US military drills.
The drills — called Max Thunder — had been due to take place around the time of the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February-March, but were postponed because of an unexpected thaw in the North-South relations.
North Korea had previously said it understood that the drills needed to go ahead.
But KCNA said they were a “provocation” and a rehearsal for an invasion — a return to the sort of language it has used during far more tense times.