North Korea to abandon Trump nuclear meeting 'if cornered'

Friday, 18 May, 2018

North Korea must "demonstrate its sincerity to negotiate on its denuclearisation", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday after Pyongyang threatened to cancel its summit with US President Donald Trump.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo early Wednesday morning Seoul time, according to a statement, which quoted Pompeo as saying preparations would continue for the Trump-Kim summit, "keeping in mind this action of the North".

US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he wouldn't try to implement a so-called "Libya model" for de-nuclearization that could lead to Kim Jong-un's ouster.

Mr Kim said the fate of the summit and relations between North Korea and the USA "would be clear" if Washington spoke of a Libya-style denuclearisation for the North.

Just last week, Trump - alluding to the mere fact that he had scheduled a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who he recently described as "very honorable" despite his record of flagrant, brutal human rights abuses - floated himself as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate.

Earlier in the day, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the United States is prepared for "tough negotiations" with North Korea even while it remains hopeful for the anticipated summit.

"[The] world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq which have met miserable fate", Mr Kim said, adding that it was absurd to compare North Korea, which is a nuclear weapons state, with Libya, which was only at an initial stage of nuclear development. Xi Wednesday hosted a meeting with its leader Pak Thae Song, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the North's ruling party.

The U.S. and communist North Korea have been at odds since the 1940s.

Kim said North Korea felt "repugnance" toward National Security Adviser John Bolton and rejected a "Libya model", in which the regime quickly gives away its nuclear weapons. The best we can reasonably hope for is that he will relinquish most of his nuclear weapons, dismantle the facilities needed to make them and stop conducting missile tests. It's a step in the right direction - a step no other USA president has taken.

But Trump, and Pyongyang, appeared to zero in on what happened a decade later during the Libyan revolution, when NATO-backed rebels ousted the government and killed Kadhafi.

She said the model that would be followed in dealing with North Korea was "the President Trump model".

"The standing committee members made a decision to closely coordinate the countries' positions through various channels between South Korea and the United States and the South and the North so the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit will be held successfully under the spirit of mutual respect", Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

China, North Korea's sole major ally, called for the summit to go ahead.

The two-week exercise kicked off Friday, involving some 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters and B-52 bombers from Guam.

"The North Koreans aren't happy with what they're seeing and hearing", he said.