Late last night, a top North Korean foreign ministry official issued a scathing statement that cast doubt on the upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, saying that a combination of US demands on nuclear disarmament, recent US-South Korean military drills, and comments from newly arrived National Security Advisor John Bolton’s had led it to reconsider attending. The North also cancelled a planned meeting with South Korea that had been set for today.
A curveball? Sure. But last-minute bluster and brinkmanship are nothing new from North Korea — it may just be returning to form after the sudden thaw that led to the historic handshake between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the DMZ last month.
No one said negotiating with most opaque, repressive regime in the world would be easy.