In more show of stubbornness, N Korea now ‘refuses’ to accept South scribes at N-site dismantling
It was all going well till last May 16 when North Korea cancelled an official-level meeting with South Korea just hours before it was scheduled to begin and also threatened to scrap the June 12 summit between its supreme leader Kim Jong-un and U President Donald Trump.
North Korea's reasoning for this sudden U-turn in a peace process which was looking to gather pace was that the US-led air drills with South Korea on the Korean soil was violating the ambience of peace following the Punmunjeom Declaration of April 27 between the two Koreas.
In a development indicating that Pyongyang is ready to take the rough route further, Pyongyang has declined to accept a list of South Korean journalists who hoped to attend the event marking the closure of North's nuclear site sometime between May 23 and 25, Reuters reported citing South Korean confirmation over the same on Friday, May 18.
North Korea recently invited a limited number of media representatives from other countries, including South Korea, to observe the official dismantling of its only nuclear site at Punggye-ri as an effort to be transparent in its quest for peace.
The South Korean Ministry of Unification said on Friday that Pyongyang refused to accept the list of journalists forwarded by Seoul for the occasion of dismantling of the site, Reuters said, adding that the ministry, which deals with the North, did not divulge details.
North Korea was also upset with the South over the US-led drills and used harsh words like "ignorant" and "incompetent" against its government, including for allowing a "human scum" to address its National Assembly which many suspected to be its defector. The Moon Jae-in government of South Korea, however, opted not to retaliate and even expressed its desire to mediate between Pyongyang and Washington to see that the summit goes through successfully.
Trump on Thursday, May 17, also tried to pacify North Korea after it took an aggressive stand over the summit, saying the security of Kim Jong-un would be ensured in any agreement and North Korea would not be handed a treatment that was given to late dictator Muammar Gaddafi's Libya, unless the agreement could not be reached.
The situation turned for the worse after US's National Security Adviser John Bolton, known to be ultra-hawkish, sought transfer of North Korea's nuclear weapons to the US as it was done while denuclearising Libya in 2003.
Trump although distanced himself from Bolton's Libya model, he also suspected that Kim Jong-un was being influenced by China, North Korea's closest ally in the region to which Kim also paid two visits in one-and-half months, reports added.
China, responding to Trump's suspicion, said it still stands for peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.