First Signs of Trouble?
In a surprise decision, North Korea has postponed discussions with South Korea in response to a joint U.S.-South Korea Air Force drill.
The North Koreans warned that the talks scheduled with the U.S. June 12 could also be jeopardized.
Both North and South Korean leaders were scheduled to meet in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two countries to discuss the implementation of the historic Panmunjom Declaration signed last month.
North Korean officials reportedly postponed the talks indefinitely, and warned that the U.S. should “give serious thought” to how the annual Max Thunder drill could negatively affect the status of next month’s meeting.
The drill was called a “deliberate military confrontation” by the official Korean Central News Agency, who claimed the drill violated the terms of the Panmunjom Declaration.
“The South Korean authorities and the United States launched a large-scale joint air force drill against our Republic even before the ink on the historic inter-Korean declaration has dried. There is a limit to our good will.” – Korean Central News Agency
In March, Kim Jong-un met with South Korean leaders and agreed to another meeting the following month despite similar exercises planned for April.
“Kim Jong-un had said previously that he understands the need and the utility of the United States and the Republic of Korea continuing in its joint exercises. They are exercises that are legal, they’re planned well, well in advance.” – State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert
The State Department has not received any notification of changes to the meeting next month.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.