US Weighs Withdrawing B-52 Bombers From Joint Military Drills As Koreas Suspend Talks

Update II: North Korea's decision to suspend talks with the South after abruptly cancelling an inter-Korean summit set for Wednesday has apparently rattled the US.

In what appears to be a concession to North Korea - or at least, a hypothetical one - Yonhap reported Tuesday night that the US is considering withholding its B-52 bombers from joint exercises with South Korea taking place this week.

In a return to its pre-detente rhetoric, North Korea said Tuesday that it felt threatened by the exercises, and threatened to retaliate.

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Update: The State Department says it had not received any information from North Korea concerning a threat to cancel the historic US-North Korea summit set for June 12. The State Department said it's still operating under the assumption that the Singapore summit is still happening.

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North Korea has abruptly canceled talks with South Korea that had been set for Wednesday - and is threatening to walk away from talks with the US - over joint US-South Korea military drills, according to South Korean newswire Yonhap

Repeating a familiar line, North Korea's Central News Agency said the "Max Thunder" drills involving South Korea and the US air force were a "rehearsal for an invasion" of the North and an unnecessary "provocation" amid warming inter-Korean ties.

Kim

The North has already made several gestures of sincerity, including releasing three US hostages and "closing" its ruined nuclear testing facility.

South and North Korea were expected to discuss "follow-up measures" after the two warring neighbors reached an historic agreement late last month. The talks were scheduled to take place on the southern side of Panmunjom, the village where the Korean War Armistice was signed, and where last month's inter-Korean summit took place. 

The North had said it would send a five-member delegation led by Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, according to Yonhap.

The delegation was to include Kim Yun-hyok, vice railroad minister, and Won Kil-u, vice sports minister, and will be accompanied by more than 20 staff and journalists, the North Korean ministry said.

Meanwhile, South Korea's five-member delegation was set to be led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon. Cho would've been accompanied by four other officials, including Kim Jeong-ryeol, vice transportation minister, Roh Tae-kang, vice cultural minister, and Ryu Kwang-soo, vice minister of Korea Forest Service.

The meeting would've marked the first time that officials from the two countries had met following last month's summit, where South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un signed an agreement vowing to cease military hostilities. They also agreed to allow families separated by the Korean War to reunite.

A historic summit between North Korea and the US is set to take place June 12 in Singapore.

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Comments

JimmyJones TheWholeYearInn Tue, 05/15/2018 - 14:46 Permalink

This is just theater, the meeting will go ahead.   No need to be a doubting Thomas.  Unified Korea is necessary for the new Silk Road.  Watch.  This is N.Korea showing their people they are Strong but still looking for a peaceful solution.  Face Saving.  Also Sum Tin Wong?

In reply to by TheWholeYearInn

caconhma Gead Tue, 05/15/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

I still bet my money on Kim knowing that he is a brutal and sadistic dictator. 

Presently, any discussions about two Koreas unification is a total nonsense. But the time is well past-due (at least 50 years) to declare an official end of the military confrontation on the Korean peninsula. 

In a meantime, Kim is very busy building & assembling more and more thermonuclear warheads. The time is on Kim his side. All these Chinese sanctions are BS since the "humanitarian" trade is going full speed.

As a side note, Kim has lots of nuclear and rocket technologies for sale to "right" buyers.

In reply to by Gead

Winston Churchill 0valueleft Tue, 05/15/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

He dug his own trench so he doesn't get fellating fatigue.

Trump will use it as a latrine  with him still in it.

Unless Kim and Moon go it alone, this is going to fail even though I had high hopes.

Bolton keeps publically adding more conditions making it an inedible elephant.

50/50 odds the meeting will not happen unless Trump is nominated for two nobels to beat

Obozo's one.

In reply to by 0valueleft

The Ram Kafir Goyim Tue, 05/15/2018 - 15:48 Permalink

Agreed.  Definitely stupid to hold drills when you are trying to convince a nation to disarm and embrace peace.  Of course, the neocons don't really want peace.  Also, the tearing up of the Iran agreement is also ill-timed to inspire confidence the nation's willingness to stick to an agreement.  None of this bodes well for the credibility of the US, but then again, the US has displayed little credibility over many decades now.

In reply to by Kafir Goyim

wren Kafir Goyim Tue, 05/15/2018 - 16:05 Permalink

For all we know, the State Department negotiated this into a deal with NK so that they can look tough for their people going in to the peace talks. Looks like theater to me. If you were Rocket Man, you probably wouldn't want to look weak either. Dictators that look weak only look weak until they are dead.

I won't pass judgment here until I see the result.

In reply to by Kafir Goyim

Baron Samedi Kafir Goyim Tue, 05/15/2018 - 19:54 Permalink

"The military drills were stupid" - but I'm going to bet that someone in Mordor wanted them to go on for just this effect.  I have read (somewhere) that Warlord Bolt-on has had a hand in derailing previous NK negotiations.

Also have read that Warlord Bolt-on is insisting on NK shipping their nukes back to Mordor for disassembly - to guarantee the talks fail. 

The ziocons are desperately attached to their boogeymen!  Always at war with Eastasia

 

In reply to by Kafir Goyim

CRM114 Kafir Goyim Tue, 05/15/2018 - 21:09 Permalink

You are new to diplomacy, Grasshopper, but you will learn. ;)

Because you get more diplomatic points by staging them on schedule than reducing them than you do by canceling them in the first place. Think of how the average SK voter will view the two options.

 

Now think of how the average NK subject will be influenced by Yung Fat Wun being able to "force a concession".

Now think of how American voters will view the options. Canceling them before they start is what Obama would have done.

 

Diplomatically, for internal politics, everybody wins this way.

In reply to by Kafir Goyim

I am Groot CRM114 Tue, 05/15/2018 - 21:48 Permalink

I'm all for canceling them altogether. We're burning up jet fuel at $1000 a minute for absolutely nothing. We aren't attacking them and short stroking things just bleeds the fucking taxpayer for all of this bukkake theater. They aren't attacking us or South Korea. Meanwhile, their economy spirals into ruins. They can build all the nukes they want. I wanna watch them eat them, and get a fully belly from them. WE have nothing but time, not them.

In reply to by CRM114

CRM114 I am Groot Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:02 Permalink

1. The minute you signal you don't care, the risk of attack skyrockets - Kuwait 1990, Falklands 1982, etc.

2. The guys need to fly to stay current, that jet fuel will get burned anyway. Big exercises give the best training.

3. That the economy is spiraling into ruins is usually a strong reason for attempting an external invasion - Falklands 1982, etc

4. The time to destruction goes quicker when they are forced to keep high levels of armed forces - Soviet Union 1989, etc.

In reply to by I am Groot