The inter-Korean meeting was to be held today in Panmunjom. Criticism of the joint military exercises between the South and the USA judged as a preparation for the "invasion" of the North. Critics of John Bolton's suggestions of a "Libyan model" to denuclearize the peninsula. Bolton is "repugnant". Rejection of total denuclearization. The influence of China.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - North Korea has "suspended" North-South talks and is threatening to cancel the meeting between leaders Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, scheduled for June.
In a dispatch of the KCNA national agency, it is explained that the inter-Korean talks have been suspended because of the joint Seoul-US military exercises, which are currently underway, considered "a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration".
The Declaration - signed by the two leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un - committed North and South not to implement "hostile acts" towards each other. But Kim Jong-un himself had recognized that joint military exercises are "routine". Today, however, the position is the same as ever: military exercises are "a provocation" and a preparation for the "invasion" of the North.
The meeting scheduled for today was to take place in the border village of Panmunjom between five official representatives of the North and South, in order to implement the signed declaration, for the formal end of the war between the two Koreas and to design the "complete" denuclearization "of the peninsula.
Today even denuclearization is being questioned. Again through KCNA, the deputy foreign minister of the North, Kim Kye-gwan, declared that they are no longer interested in dialogue with the United States "if they only try to push us unilaterally into a corner to abandon nuclear power". Kim's statement was released hours after the announcement of the indefinite suspension of inter-Korean dialogue.
Last week and last month, Kim Jong-un met with Mike Pompeo, current US secretary of state, and agreed to reduce the nuclear program in exchange for the cancellation of sanctions against North Korea. Pyongyang had also promised that it would dismantle the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site.
The steps of the last few months had awakened hope in many for peace on the Korean peninsula. So far analysts are reticent to judge this sudden slowdown. But the perception is that Pyongyang will refuse complete denuclearization.
In Kim Kye-gwan's statement, heavy accusations are made against John Bolton, US national security adviser. Kim expresses a "repugnance" towards him.
In the past Bolton, considered one of the "hawks" of the Trump administration, had said that it was "perfectly legitimate" to bomb North Korea in a preventive manner. And last week, in an interview, he suggested using the "Libyan model" for nuclear disarmament in the North.
Considering the fate of the Libyan leadership, Kim Kye-gwan said that Bolton's expressions are " "a manifestation of awfully sinister moves to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers. ".
Some analysts point out that the slowdown in dialogue comes shortly after Kim Jong-un's last visit to China, for a much-publicized meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The North’s rebelling against dialogues brings Beijing back as one of Kim's most important friends and an essential partner in inter-Korean talks and with the United States. So far it had seemed that Beijing was on the margins of what had been called "a new era in history" and which today - according to KCNA - risks being "tragic and unsuccessful" (referring to the Trump presidency and the failure of the meeting between him and Kim).