North Korea canceled talks with South Korea this week in response to joint U.S.–South Korea military drills and has also put next month’s U.S.–North Korea summit in doubt.
The big picture: North Korea seems to be insisting on two conditions for the U.S. summit it believed to have been previously established: U.S.–South Korea exercises will exclude threatening military power, and the U.S. will enter denuclearization negotiations in good faith.
During an April 27 meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that military exercises could continue, but with the understanding that major strategic assets like fighter jets and bombers would not be deployed. The most recent exercise did indeed involve F-22s, though plans to use B-52s have reportedly been scrapped. South Korea will likely try to assure the North that it will no longer use such assets in the immediate future.