DPRK says may "reconsider" top level meeting with U.S.
A senior official of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Wednesday the country may reconsider the scheduled U.S.-DPRK summit because of extremely provocative remarks made by American officials.
A man watches a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, March 9, 2018. [File photo: AP]
The DPRK First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement that the Trump administration must show sincerity in its desire to meet with the DPRK to improve bilateral relations.
However, if the United States only wants to press the DPRK to abandon its nuclear arsenal, the latter would have to reconsider whether to attend, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kim as saying.
The DPRK announced early Wednesday that it would suspend high-level talks with South Korea infinitely and threatened to withdraw from the scheduled meeting with the United States over an ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint military exercise.
Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump are scheduled to meet on June 12 in Singapore.
Kim blamed the United States for uttering provocative words against the DPRK weeks before the summit, calling them disappointing.
He said the White House national security advisor John Bolton had even urged the DPRK to abandon its nuclear arsenal first in order to receive benefits on trade, a similar stance previously taken with Libya.
"This is not about solving problems through dialogue, but is intended to replay the tragedy of Libya on the DPRK," he said, adding that Libya "has totally collapsed after handing over its fate to big powers."
"I am not only furious about the U.S. rhetoric but also seriously suspicious of its sincerity to improve relations through dialogue and consultation," said Kim.
He said that the DPRK is not Libya or Iraq, two countries facing a dire reality following attacks by the United States.
"The DPRK has clarified its intention to work for denuclearization on the peninsula and has made statements several times that an end of hostile policies, nuclear threats and intimidation from the United States against the DPRK are preconditions for denuclearization," said Kim.
Referring to the U.S. promise of offering economic compensation and benefits in return for DPRK's denuclearization, the official said that Pyongyang would never consider receiving economic aid from the United States.
Kim's statement was issued after a U.S.-South Korea joint military drill, dubbed "2018 Max Thunder", kicked off throughout South Korea on May 11.
In an earlier report also on Wednesday, KCNA called the joint drill a deliberate challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration issued by Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He said the drill was another demonstration of the "maximum pressure and sanctions" policy of the United States and South Korea towards the DPRK.