Trump's fake surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was suppose to mark the beginning of the next round of talks between the U.S. and North Korea, but those talks may never take place.
Trump agreed to suspend large-scale military exercises with South Korea during his first summit with Kim Jong-un in 2018, but smaller exercises have continued since then.
North Korea is now threatening to cancel talks if small exercises continue.
“We will formulate our decision on the opening of the DPRK-U.S. working-level talks, while keeping watch over the U.S. move hereafter,” the spokesman said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. [...]
“It is crystal clear that it is an actual drill and a rehearsal of war aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack,” the North Korean spokesman said in a separate statement, adding that Trump had reaffirmed at last month’s meeting with Kim that the exercises would be halted.
It has not been previously reported that Trump told Kim that he would order a stop to smaller military exercises.
So, will he?
It's anyone's guess, but I wouldn't surprised if he does.
I don't necessarily consider this a laughing matter, but it does tickle my funny bone that North Korea is now the party holding the Donald Trump and the United States responsible for the possible collapse of talks.
Just because North Korea officials say something doesn't make it true, of course, but this rhetorical strategy is only possible because Trump made it possible. Trump has repeatedly floated many things he couldn't necessarily deliver on so it's not exactly implausible that Trump told Kim he would halt all military exercises. Trump has developed a reputation for saying whatever he feels, even if what he feels is incoherent.
Accusing the United States of holding a "rehearsal of war" that will lead to the occupation of North Korea through a "surprise attack" does not sound like the words of a regime that will ever be willing to give up their nuclear weapons, but Trump may give them more of what they want in any case.