(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea’s first vice foreign minister says the country has no interest in a summit with the United States if it’s going to be a “one-sided” affair where it’s pressured to give up its nukes.
The statement by Kim Kye Gwan on Wednesday came hours after the North abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea and threatened to do the same with a planned summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump next month.
Kim Kye Gwan criticized recent comments by Trump’s top security adviser John Bolton and other U.S. officials who have been talking about how the North should follow the “Libyan model” of nuclear disarmament and provide a “complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement.”
He also criticized other U.S. comments that the North should completely abandon not only its nukes and missiles but also its biological and chemical weapons.
Kim says: “We will appropriately respond to the Trump administration if it approaches the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting with a truthful intent to improve relations.”
He adds: “But we are no longer interested in a negotiation that will be all about driving us into a corner and making a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes and this would force us to reconsider whether we would accept the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting.”
Some analysts say bringing up Libya, which dismantled its rudimentary nuclear program in the 2000s in exchange for sanctions relief, would risk derailing any progress in negotiations with the North
Kim Jong Un took power weeks after former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s gruesome death at the hands of rebel forces amid a popular uprising in October 2011. The North has frequently used Gadhafi’s death to justify its own nuclear development in the face of perceived U.S. threats.