N.Korea to suspend talks with Seoul over drills with US

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Pyongyang, May 16 (IANS) In view of recent “provocative” acts such as the South Korea-US joint military exercises, North Korea has no choice but to suspend high-level talks with Seoul, KCNA news agency said on Wednesday.

It also said the US should think twice about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit, reports Xinhua.

Shortly after the report, the US State Department said it was continuing to prepare for the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s top leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

The US has not heard anything directly from Pyongyang or Seoul that would change the arrangements, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was quoted as saying.

The US side needs to verify the KCNA’s report, she said. “We’ve received no formal or even informal notification of anything.”

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“We’ve seen some pretty good indications from them so far,” she said, citing the the release of three American detainees. “So they have taken some steps in the right direction … I think those are all good signs.”

The KCNA said that the “2018 Max Thunder” joint air combat exercise involving over 100 warplanes including “B-52” strategic bombers and “F-22 Raptor” stealth fighters is aimed at launching pre-emptive strikes against North Korea as well as taking control of the airspace.

–IANS

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