June 19, 2018

Donald Trump threatens Kim Jong-un three weeks before summit

18 May 2018, 02:10 | Marta Robbins

South Korea says military drills will go on

President Trump is scheduled to hold a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore. MUST CREDIT Washington Post

"If the United States is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue", the North Korean minister added.

However, Trump interpreted the "Libyan model" to mean the 2011 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation intervention in Libya which ultimately led to Gaddafi's murder by rebels in Tripoli.

Following the news briefing, Trump said North Korea will get strong security protections and that the USA will not use a Libyan-style denuclearization process toward North Korea.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that officials "haven't heard anything. that we wouldn't continue with [military] exercises and planning for summit".

Trump then stressed that the USA relationship with North Korea would also be different from that with Libya because the US had never promised Tripoli's leadership, military or economic support.

North Korea criticized U.S. -South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back. "And it's up to President Trump to make sure that they don't".

Sanders, like the president, projected uncertainty about whether the meeting will happen.

"The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities", according to a statement from North Korea's state news agency.

Kim also expressed Pyongyang's dissatisfaction over National Security Adviser John Bolton's mention of using the so-called Libyan model on North Korea, calling it an "awfully sinister move" to compare Libya's nascent nuclear weapons program from 2003 to North Korea's program that has already produced a significant nuclear arsenal. Bolton has repeatedly suggested the Libya model of unilateral disarmament for North Korea, most recently on Sunday. "I think what the North Koreans did - and it's pretty smart - they decided not to keep negotiating".

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However, Trump continued that this was dependent on an agreeable deal being struck between the US and North Korea and issued what is likely to be to seen as a strong threat towards the country. We will see what happens.

Trump told reporters that if the meeting with Kim happens then "it happens" and if not the United States will go on to the next step. He also held a ceremony at the parliament to celebrate the publication of his new book which is critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The drastic change in tone came after months of easing tension and just days after North Korea had announced it would publicly shut its nuclear test site next week and improved the mood for a USA summit by releasing the three detained Americans last week.

White House National Security adviser John Bolton with US President Donald Trump.

"We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him", said Wednesday's statement, which was written by Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan.

A top Kim aide blasted Bolton this week, blaming the Libya deal for Gaddafi's eventual downfall in an internationally backed popular uprising in 2011.

"We have already stated our intention for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and made clear on several occasions that precondition for denuclearization is to put an end to anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States", Mr. Kim said.

Both Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said the US wants North Korea's "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization". North Korea pointed this out while condemning Bolton's statement earlier this week.

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