In a move that is totally in keeping with North Korea’s entire history of dealings with the United States, North Korean officials have threatened to cancel next month’s meeting between Kim Jong Un – the only fat person north of the 38th Parallel – and President Donald Trump due to joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises currently taking place in South Korea.
- The South Korean Yonhap News Agency was first to report on Tuesday that North Korean officials were threatening to cancel the historic meeting planned for June 12 in Singapore. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday that the U.S. government will continue to plan for the meeting, according to CBS News.
- One drill involves about 1,000 service members and the other is larger in scope but it takes place over a longer period of time, so the exact number of troops still involved was not immediately available on Tuesday.
- While it is unclear what North Korea’s motivations are, the country has a history of trying to extract concessions from the United States and its allies through brinkmanship tactics.
- A Defense Department spokesman confirmed that the U.S. and South Koreans are currently conducting annual spring military exercises Foal Eagle and Max Thunder, but had little else to say.
- “These defensive exercises are part of the ROK-U.S. Alliance's routine, annual training program to maintain a foundation of military readiness,” Army Col. Rob Manning said in an email. “The purpose of the training is to enhance the ROK-U.S. Alliance's ability to defend the ROK and enhance interoperability and readiness. While we will not discuss specifics, the defensive nature of these combined exercises has been clear for many decades and has not changed.”