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North Korea cancels talks with South, threatens to pull out of U.S. summit

North Korea sent shock waves through the Trump administration’s hope for a history-making summit with Kim Jong-un, angrily canceling a planned meeting with South Korean officials Wednesday to protest joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and calling into doubt President Trump’s announced meeting with Mr. Kim in Singapore in less than a month.

The threat was issued via the North’s state-controlled news service despite assurances from Pyongyang that it did not object to the military drill and included a blast of old-style North Korean rhetoric denouncing “U.S. imperialist aggressor forces” and the “madcap North-targeted war and confrontation racket being kicked up” by Seoul.

The announcement was jolting after two visits to the North by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Mr. Kimand a string of goodwill gestures on both sides that included the release last week of three Korean-Americans held in North Korean prisons. Analysts were divided over whether the move was a shift in strategy, a negotiating ploy by Mr. Kim or an expression of genuine unhappiness.

“If the U.S. and the South Korean authorities regard the phase of improving inter-Korean ties and the [North Korean]-U.S. dialogue provided by the proactive and broadminded efforts and measures of [North Korea] as something allowed any time and any hour, then they are sadly mistaken,” the statement warned.

The canceled North-South talks were meant to deepen a rapprochement pushed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, dealing with matters such as connecting railroads, fielding inter-Korean sports teams, restoring forests in the North and reuniting families separated by the divisions on the peninsula.

The White House responded cautiously to the development, which it first learned of from South Korean press reports.

Mr. Trump avoided any immediate comment, and spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said only that the administration “will look at what North Korea has said” and “continue to coordinate closely with our allies.” Read more

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North Korea cancels talks with South, threatens to pull out of U.S. summit

North Korea sent shock waves through the Trump administration’s hope for a history-making summit with Kim Jong-un, angrily canceling a planned meeting with South Korean officials Wednesday to protest joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and calling into doubt President Trump’s announced meeting with Mr. Kim in Singapore in less than a month.