The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Wednesday it will cancel the forthcoming summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump if Washington seeks to push Pyongyang into unilaterally giving up its nuclear program,casting shadow on the upcoming meeting.
It also canceled high-level talks due Wednesday with Seoul over the “Max Thunder” joint military exercises being held between the United States and the Republic of Korea, denouncing the drills as a “rude and wicked provocation”.
It is a sudden return to the past by Pyongyang, after months of rapid diplomatic rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula.
DPRK’s leader Kim Jong Un visits a nuclear program in this undated photo released by its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Sept. 3, 2017. /VCG Photo
“If the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue,” DPRK’s First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by state media.
Pyongyang had “made clear on several occasions that precondition for denuclearization is to put an end to anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States,” he stressed.
In that case, Pyongyang would have to “reconsider” its participation at the summit, due in Singapore on June 12, Kim added.
Pyongyang’s nuclear program is expected to be at the top of the agenda of the historic talks.
The country has long insisted it needs the weapons to defend itself against invasion by the US.
Washington has reiterated that it will press for its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization during the bilateral talks.
So far Pyongyang has offered commitments to the denuclearization of the Peninsula and announced the demolition of the Punggye-ri nuclear site schedule between May 23 and 25.
On Monday, a US research institute said satellite images show the first evidence that the DPRK has started to dismantle the Punggye-ri site, which has been used for six underground nuclear tests in the past.