North Korea threatens to cancel Trump summit
North Korea has said it may pull out of a summit with President Donald Trump if the United States (US) insists that it abandons its nuclear weapons.
The highly anticipated meeting between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is due to take place on June 12.
But, in an angry statement, North Korea’s vice foreign minister accused the US of making reckless statements and of harbouring sinister intentions.
He pointed the finger squarely at US National Security Adviser John Bolton.
“We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him,” Kim Kye-gwan said.
The groundbreaking agreement for Kim and Trump to meet came about as North Korea said it was committed to denuclearising the Korean peninsula.
Exactly what that would entail has remained unclear, but North Korea has invited foreign media to witness the dismantling of its main nuclear test site later this month.
Bolton recently said North Korea could follow a “Libya model” of verifiable denuclearisation, but this alarms Pyongyang, which watched Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi give up his nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later.
The BBC’s Laura Bicker in Seoul says North Korea –which had long said its nuclear arsenal is essential for its survival as a state—is making its demands clear.
Kim’s statement, carried by State media, said if the US “corners us, and unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons, we will no longer have an interest in talks” and “will have to reconsider” attending the June 12 summit in Singapore.
He said North Korea did have “high hopes” but that it was “very unfortunate that the US is provoking us ahead of the summit by spitting out ludicrous statements”. — BBC
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