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US neocons trying to scuttle peace process on Korean peninsula: Writer

US Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) and National Security Adviser John Bolton watch as US President Donald Trump speaks during a working lunch with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on April 18, 2018. (AFP photo)

The neoconservatives in the Donald Trump administration are trying to scuttle the peace process between North Korea and South Korea and the United States, according to American writer and academic James Petras.

The United States has canceled a training exercise involving nuclear-capable B-52 bombers flying alongside South Korean warplanes after North Korea threatened to call off a planned meeting between Kim John-un and President Trump, according to reports.

The move follows repeated objection by Pyongyang to US military exercises on the Korean Peninsula and a threat that it would cancel the highly-anticipated summit between the North Korean leader and the US president on June 12.

The Pentagon had initially asserted that it had no plans to change the scope of its exercises in the region, but the South Koreans asked not to take part in what was intended to be an air drill involving the US, South Korea and Japan, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials.

Professor Petras told Press TV on Saturday that “North Koreans are absolutely right because this is a form of intimidation and it sets a very ugly tone to any possibility of negotiations.”

“If the US thinks that it can intimidate North Korea by this massive military operation, they are very seriously wrong,” he stated.

“I think the North Koreans have made some gestures, very positive gestures regarding the negotiations,” the analyst added.

Petras  said the US-South Korean joint exercise was “a military operation which threatens North Korea. So I think it was a badly calculated step taken by the US and especially South Korea which had been interested in a peaceful resolution of their differences. So overall I think it’s very clear to everyone that Washington took a false step.”

“Now there’s another theory that the hawks, the neocons in the Trump administration carried out this operation to scuttle the negotiation process knowing in advance that this was a very provocative action,” he argued.

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