The aborted Singapore summit had a ring of doubt since it was first suggested. At the heart of the problem was Trump’s suggestion that North Korea unilaterally give up its arsenal of nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles.
Last week, Trump sought to placate North Korea after it threatened to call off the summit, saying Kim’s security would be guaranteed in any deal and his country would not suffer the fate of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, unless that could not be reached.
But the reference to the case of Libya has angered North Korea.
In a statement released by North Korean media on Thursday, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui called U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” for comparing North Korea – a “nuclear weapons state” – to Libya, where Gaddafi gave up his unfinished nuclear development programme, only to be later killed by NATO-backed fighters.
“It is to be underlined, however, that in order not to follow in Libya’s footstep, we paid a heavy price to build up our powerful and reliable strength that can defend ourselves and safeguard peace and security in the Korean peninsula and the region,” Choe said.
Choe said the fate of the summit was “entirely” up to the United States.
“We will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us,” said Choe.
She said she could suggest to leader Kim that North Korea reconsider the summit if the United States offended the North’s goodwill.