North Korea has once again threatened to reconsider a summit with US President Donald Trump, if Washington continues to do, what it described as, “unlawful and outrageous and evil acts”.
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said on Thursday that her country “will neither beg the US for dialogue, nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us”, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
“Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room, or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States.”
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Choe issued the warning as she denounced as “ignorant and stupid” the remarks made by US Vice President Mike Pence that North Korea might end up like Libya, if it refuses to adhere to the American demand of denuclearization.
In 2004, in the aftermath of Saddam’s removal in Iraq by US invasion, Libya also entered into negotiations with the US to ship out nuclear components out of the country. Six years later, the US supported the ouster of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed by rebel fighters.
Choe further said, “In view of the remarks of the US high-ranking politicians who have not yet woken up to this stark reality and compare the DPRK to Libya that met a tragic fate, I come to think that they know too little about us.”
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She said, “To borrow their words, we can also make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now.”
The North Korean comments came after the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said America will walk away from the summit, if Pyongyang doesn’t agree to its terms.
Pyongyang has been ramping up its criticism of the US for its “unilateral” demand of denuclearisation. Doubts have also been raised about the planned meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.
During his meeting with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in on Tuesday, Trump said “there’s a very substantial chance it won’t work out”. On Wednesday, Trump reportedly told reporters that he will know by “next week” if the talks will proceed or not.
Meanwhile, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington that “now is the time” for the US and North Korea to hold the summit, if the US wants peace with Pyongyang. China is North Korea’s closest ally. Wang said China hopes the Trump-Kim summit will take place as scheduled.
As part of the preparation for the US-North Korea Summit, on Wednesday, U.N. Security Council has approved travel to Singapore by a North Korean delegation for the summit. The current sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program and missile tests include a travel ban on a large number of senior North Korean officials.