North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, warned he could withdraw from his June 12 summit meeting with President Trump. This change in attitude come just weeks after Kim promised peace with South Korea and planned the summit with Trump in the first place. His final decision: He will not get rid of North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
While Trump seems to be shocked about Kim’s change of heart, is it really that unexpected? Let’s take a look back at the recent events to see just how predictable it was. On April 20, Kim declared he would suspend nuclear and missile testing. In response, Trump tweeted, “North Korean has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the world – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.” Yet according to the South China Morning Post, the collapse of a mountain nuclear test site was directly related to the suspension of nuclear testing.
On April 27, Kim held the hand of South Korea’s leader, Moon Jae-in, and ceremoniously stepped across the border for the first time. The two were seen laughing, shaking hands, embracing and strolling through the demilitarized zone between countries. Following the historic meeting, an announcement signed by Kim was released, stating, “South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” Trump commented in support of the meeting on Twitter: “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” Trump later announced plans of the June summit with Kim in hopes of complete denuclearization. However, it seems he didn’t read up on his foreign affairs history before getting his hopes up. Between 1985 and 1993, North Korea went back and forth four times on whether they would give up nuclear weapons. In 1992, they even signed a Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with South Korea.
Now, despite Trump’s hopes, the summit began to fall apart on Wednesday when Kim postponed inter-Korean talks, stated he would not be giving up nuclear weapons and warned he could cancel the summit all together. Kim blamed the joint U.S. and South Korea military drills known as Max Thunder. North Korea released a statement calling the drill “provocative military disturbances with South Korea.” According to a report by CNN, meetings are taking place today between White House officials, the National Security Council and the Defense Department. President Donald Trump has been alerted about the warning and the White House is currently preparing a response.