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North Korea cancels Wednesday's high-level talks with South Korea

Politics 16.05.2018 | 12:55

SEOUL, 16 May (BelTA –Yonhap) - North Korea also canceled high-level talks with South Korea planned for Wednesday, saying the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and U.S. air forces.

The two-week exercise kicked off Friday, involving some 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters and an unspecified number of B-52 bombers and F-15K jets.

A senior North Korean official warned Wednesday that Pyongyang will reconsider the agreed-upon summit talks with the United States if it comes under continued pressure to "unilaterally" abandon its nuclear program.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan made clear that North Korea is not interested in any nuclear talks in which it is coerced into giving up its nuclear arsenal, according to Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA.

"If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit," he said in English.

The United States said that it continues to plan for a historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un despite the regime's threat to withdraw.

"We will continue to plan the meeting," department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a regular news briefing. "We have not heard anything from that government or the government of South Korea to indicate we would not continue conducting these exercises or would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un next month."

The two leaders are set to meet in Singapore on June 12.

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