Updated: February 25, 2021
North Korea on Tuesday condemned joint military exercises conducted by the United States and South Korea, and canceled a summit with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday.
North Korea called the drills an “intentional provocation” and warned that a planned June 12 summit between dictator Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump could be in jeopardy.
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American newspapers reported that the military exercises, codenamed “Max Thunder,” began on Friday and have involved about 100 U.S. and South Korean warplanes, including B-52 bombers.
Pyongyang also warned that the United States should not insist on “unilateral nuclear abandonment” if it wanted the summit to take place.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, which made the announcement, said: “This exercise, targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is … an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula”.
Why this matters: For some observers, North Korea has been making a fool of Trump by buying time to complete its nuclear bombs as it can never trust the United States after what happened to the late Lybian leader who was killed by U.S. backed forces after giving up the country’s nuclear weapons. A former CIA boss said Trump had been duped and Pentagon experts had expressed cautious optimism, a polite way of saying a bloody dictator can never be trusted to give up what makes his very existence possible.