Trump, Moon discuss N. Korea’s threat to scrap summit

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SEOUL, May 20, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – US President Donald Trump and South Korean
President Moon Jae-in on Sunday discussed North Korea’s recent threats to
cancel its unprecedented summit with Washington, Seoul’s presidential office
said.

After weeks of warm words and diplomatic backslapping, Pyongyang abruptly
threatened to pull out of the planned summit next month because of US demands
for “unilateral nuclear abandonment”, according to the North’s official KCNA
news agency.

North Korea also cancelled at the last minute a high-level meeting with the
South, protesting joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.

In a phone conversation on Sunday, Trump and Moon “exchanged views on
various actions taken by North Korea recently”, Moon’s office said in a
statement.

The two leaders agreed to “work closely” for the success of the landmark
summit in Singapore on June 12, which would be the first meeting between a
sitting US President and a North Korean leader.

They are due to meet in Washington on Tuesday.

North Korea’s sudden shift in attitude followed a weeks-long charm
offensive that has seen leader Kim Jong Un hold a historic summit with Moon
and meet twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

At a dramatic summit last month in the Demilitarised Zone dividing their
two countries, Kim and Moon pledged to pursue nuclear disarmament and a peace
treaty.

Pyongyang also raised hopes ahead of the US summit by announcing it will
destroy its nuclear testing site next week.

But the promise is open to interpretation on both sides and the North has
spent decades developing its atomic arsenal, culminating last year in its
sixth nuclear test — by far its biggest to date — and the launch of
missiles capable of reaching the US.

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