North Korea has already made it clear that it is not interested in any negotiations aimed solely at unilateral denuclearization without guarantees that Pyongyang will not be totally defenseless, and the example of Libya is a clear case, according to the Deputy Foreign Minister.
Criticizing Washington’s demands for unilateral concessions and unconditional “nuclear abandonment”, North Korea’s first Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan recalled the possible fate of Libya and said that this style of negotiations is unacceptable for Pyongyang .
“This is not an attempt to solve the problem through dialogue, but rather the manifestation […] to force the fate of Libya and Iraq in collapse to our dignified state,” Kim said, according to the KCNA.
The US invaded Iraq in 2003, claiming that Baghdad possessed weapons of mass destruction. None of these weapons were found and was proven to be a complete lie.
That same year, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi offered to end his country’s nuclear weapons research. Libyan nuclear materials were transferred to the US. In 2011, however, the US and its NATO allies supported an armed jihadist rebellion that toppled and killed Gaddafi after he was tortured and sodomized, and plunged Libya into chaos.
“I doubt the United States really wants solid dialogue and negotiation,” Kim added, noting again that “the world is so well aware that our country is not Libya or Iraq.”
Denouncing the ongoing “sanctions pressure offensive” against the North, he accused Washington of misrepresenting “North Korea’s generosity and boldness as an expression of weakness.”
Last week, as a sign of goodwill, North Korea released three US detainees accused of espionage – Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Dong Chul – removing one of the main obstacles ahead of the June 12 summit in Singapore .
In another peaceful gesture, the North pledged to put a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests and, in the spirit of transparency, invited foreign journalists to attend the closing of the nuclear test site scheduled for May 23-25.
“We will no longer be interested in negotiations if [they] try to push us unilaterally into a corner and force us to give up nuclear weapons,” he said. “It would be inevitable to reconsider whether we would respond to the next summit with the US.”
The North Korean official’s comments came a day after Pyongyang’s decision to cancel talks with South Korea over US-South Korean military exercises justifiably seen by the North as a test for the invasion of North Korea and a provocation amid the warming of inter-Korean ties.
“This training is aimed at […] and is a deliberate challenge to the Panmunjom statement and is a deliberate military provocation,” KCNA wrote on Wednesday. “This training … reflects the unchanging attitude of the US and South Korea in continuing with ‘maximum pressure and sanctions’ against us.”
Washington, however, still intends to hold the Trump-Kim meeting as planned and has advocated the right to carry out exercises with its Asian ally.
“We have heard nothing from this South Korean government to indicate that we would not continue to conduct these exercises or that we would not continue to plan our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un next month,” said the Department of State, Heather Nauert, told reporters on Tuesday.
“I will say that Kim Jong-un said earlier that he understands the need and the usefulness of the United States and the Republic of Korea to continue in their joint exercises. It is legal exercises they are planned well, well in advance,” she added.