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May 15, 2018

More About North Korea cancels scheduled meeting with South Korea: Reports - May 15, 2018. | Politics | CNBC

cnbc.com

North Korea cancels scheduled meeting with South Korea: Reports

Kevin Breuninger

North Korea abruptly canceled talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday and threatened to walk away from talks with the U.S., according to media reports.
North Korea's state-run Central News Agency said the ongoing joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea are a "provocation" and a preparation for an invasion, according to a Reuters report that cites South Korean news outlet Yonhap.
The move comes as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an unprecedented summit.
The Associated Press, citing Yonhap, reported that North Korea is also threatening to cancel the talks with the U.S. because of the joint military exercises.
The U.S. State Department said it had not received any information from North Korea about the threat to cancel the June summit between Trump and Kim, Reuters reported.
"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," said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, in a briefing shortly after the North Korean announcement.
The department will continue to plan for the summit, which is currently scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
Equity markets, which were already declining, ticked further down briefly following the news, while spot gold prices received a slight boost.
U.S. joint military exercise with South Korea in Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea. Getty Images
U.S. joint military exercise with South Korea in Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea.
The White House did not immediately provide comment on North Korea's sudden change of plans.
Just hours earlier, South Korea's Unification Ministry had announced that North Korea had proposed the inter-Korea talks that would have been held Wednesday. The meeting would have included discussions about ending the seven-decade-long Korean war and upholding the pledge to completely denuclearize the peninsula, according to the Unification Ministry.
North Korea said it would destroy its only known nuclear test site between May 23 and 25, weather permitting. The regime has not, however, promised to get rid of its nuclear arsenal.
The Pentagon said in March that the U.S. and South Korea's April 1 joint military drills would be conducted on a similar scale to previous years, despite the warming relations with the north. The exercises usually provoke an angry response from North Korea.
North Korea's current threats come in response to the so-called Max Thunder military exercises. The two-week air forces drills, which began on Friday, comprise roughly 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters and a number of B-52 bombers and F-15K jets, Yonhap reported.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
--CNBC's Amanda Macias contributed to this report.