Trump better not make space in his trophy case for that Nobel Peace Prize just yet – it looks like his crowning foreign relations achievement has already begun to crumble.
North Korea just announced they’ve canceled high-level talks originally scheduled for Wednesday of this week with sister country South Korea. Leaders from the north are reportedly angry the south has engaged in joint military exercises with the United States.
North Korea’s official news outlet KCNA called the exercises a “provocation” and a rehearsal for an impending invasion of the northern peninsula.
The military action may also cause trouble for the historic June 12th summit planned between Trump and former rocket-man-turned Trump BFF Kim Jong-Un. Shockwaves rippled across the world when Trump accepted Jong-Un’s invitation.
“We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” the tweeter-in-chief announced on his twitter since he makes no policy announcements anywhere else.
The now-canceled talks were intended as follow up to an April 27 summit between North and South Koreas. The venue chosen was in Panmunjom, a military compound in the demilitarized zone between the two countries colloquially referred to as “truce town.”
That was, until, the joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea – known as Max Thunder – took place and angered the north. The drills involved 100 or so warplanes including B-52 bombers and F-15K jets, so it’s no surprise they showed concern.
Both the U.S. and South Korea maintain the drills are purely defense preparations based on a 1953 agreement signed by both countries. They also say the exercises are necessary to strengthen their readiness in case of an external attack, but Kim Jong-Un doesn’t buy it.
Still, the April 27 summit between the North and the South had attempted to address some of the North’s concerns with these drills and other issues which divided the peninsula. Now that they have continued to take place, it seems the North is inching back toward the seclusion it typically prefers.
Though Kim Jong-Un has canceled scheduled talks with South Korea, he is still planning to meet with Trump, confirmed by BBC Seoul expert Laura Bicker. Technically, the phrasing of the KCNA report, when properly translated, only casts doubts on the fate of the talks with the U.S. Those are not canceled – yet.
“The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities,” the KCNA report said.
Trump’s cronies, of course, are ignoring the reports and acting as nothing has changed.
“We will continue to plan the meeting,” a state department spokeswoman told reporters, referring to Trump’s impending meeting with Jon-Un.
She added that the US had received “no notification” of a change in the North’s position.
To be fair, Trump doesn’t usually know what’s happening until he tweets about it, so if we want to see this meeting completely fall apart, we need only keep an eye on his Twitter feed.