SEOUL – North Korea threatened on Wednesday to pull out of the upcoming summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, after Washington proposed Pyongyang should dismantle its nuclear program at once and be recompensed for it.
Hours before the threat, the North Korean regime had canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea to protest against joint air-exercises between Seoul and Washington, saying the drills were also a threat to the summit between Kim and Trump, to be held in Singapore on June 12.
“If the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider the DPRK-US summit,” Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea’s vice minister for foreign affairs, said in a statement published by official news agency KCNA.
The statement accused the US of trying to impose “the so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment” on North Korea.
“This is not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue, this is essentially a manifestation of an awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya and Iraq,” the statement added.
In 2003, the US had signed an agreement with Libya by which the then Libyan regime had abandoned its weapons of mass destruction program in exchange for economic incentives; only to be ousted later in an opposition uprising supported by a NATO military intervention in 2011.
“We have never had any expectation of US support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in future, too,” the statement said.
Pyongyang’s statements on Wednesday have come as a blow to three-month-long efforts to improve relations between North Korea and the international community and attempts to find a solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.