North Korea Follows One Threat With a SecondMay 16, 2018 11:37am

North Korea is ratcheting up its threats—and potentially inching away from the table. After canceling high-level talks with South Korea planned for Wednesday and warning the US it could cancel Kim Jong Un's meeting with President Trump over joint military exercises between the US and South Korea, another wrinkle.

The Guardian reports Pyongyang is adding to the list of things that could imperil the planned June 12 summit: A statement released by KCNA on Wednesday says the North would bow out if the US maintains its "one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes." The report quotes first vice minister of foreign affairs Kim Kye Gwan, and the New York Times has the statement in full.

More on what it says, and reaction to it:

  • The statement references the "so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment" on more than one occasion, saying US comments about complete denuclearization amount to "a manifestation of awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers. ... It is absolutely absurd to dare compare [North Korea], a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial state of nuclear development."


  • Time addresses the Libya angle, explaining the fact that Moammar Gadhafi "was toppled with US backing despite acquiescing to demands to denuclearize has long been a thorn in US efforts to reach a deal with North Korea—one likely sharpened by Trump's recent decision to nix a hard-fought denuclearization deal with Iran."
  • Reuters notes the statement also offered harsh words about US national security adviser John Bolton, who has been promoting a Libya-style denuclearization.

"We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him," it read, with Reuters recalling North Korea having called Bolton "human scum" when he worked for the Bush administration.

  • At the Times, Gerry Mullany sees "a pattern by the unpredictable regime," and outlines five other times when North Korea "did a sudden about-face." Read them here.
  • A senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists offers his take to the Guardian: "The North Koreans know how to make an explicit threat. By their standards, this is pretty circumspect. It could very well be a play for additional leverage or to see how the Trump team reacts."
  • At Time, Korea expert Professor Stephan Haggard echoes that but sees a second possibility: That Kim has "gotten cold feet—they just want an out."
  • As for the South, Yonhap reports South Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "held emergency phone talks Wednesday in a show of solidarity against North Korea's renewed brinkmanship." The Guardian reports the joint US-South Korean military exercises, codenamed Max Thunder, started Friday and will continue.

More From Newser

This article originally appeared on Newser: North Korea Follows One Threat With a Second

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

North Korean military officer, civilian reportedly defect to the SouthTwo North Koreans – a military officer and a civilian – reportedly defected to South Korea early Saturday.
FILE- In this combination of file photos, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on May 16, 2018,  and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a meeting with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in Panmunjom, South Korea, on April 27, 2018. Foreign journalists will get the chance to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this week to observe the closing of the country’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, a much-touted display of goodwill ahead of leader Kim Jong Un’s planned summit with President Donald Trump in June, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Korea Summit Press Pool via AP,  File)
In North Korea nuke site closure, spectacle trumps substance
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 9, 2018, file photo, South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrives at Tokyo International Airport in Tokyo. For a few months, everything seemed to be clicking into place for South Korean President Moon Jae-in as he meticulously set up crucial nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang following a year of intense animosity. But he now heads into a White House meeting with President Donald Trump with uncertainty over his status in the diplomatic driver’s seat. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, FIle)
Moon enters talks with Trump with driver's seat at stake
North Korea demands South Korea send back restaurant workersNorth Korea is demanding that South Korea send back 12 North Korean restaurant workers who came to the South in 2016, saying such a move would demonstrate Seoul's willingness to improve relations
Trump to Postal Chief: Do What I Say With Amazon
Mnuchin says US has deal with China to cut trade deficit, will hold off on tariffsTreasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that the U.S. and China -- the world’s two biggest economies -- have reached a tentative deal to cut trade deficits that includes the U.S. putting China tariffs on hold, an agreement that potentially averts an economic standoff that would have global economic impacts.
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices