North Korea issued two statements today, one taking offense at the US-South Korea military drills currently taking place, and hinting they were jeopardizing the much-awaited summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. The other, from a senior North Korean diplomat, was far more strongly worded and warned that the Trump administration’s statements on denuclearization were leading it to “reconsider” attending the summit, slated for June 12 in Singapore. Here’s the text of that statement as put out by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (emphasis in the original).
Pyongyang, May 16 (KCNA) — Kim Kye Gwan, first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, made public the following press statement on Wednesday:
Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, made a strategic decision to put an end to the unpleasant history of the DPRK-U.S. relations and met Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, for two times during his visit to our country and took very important and broad-minded steps for peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the world.
In response to the noble intention of Chairman Kim Jong Un, President Trump stated his position for terminating the historically deep-rooted hostility and improving the relations between the DPRK and the U.S.
I appreciated the position positively with an expectation that upcoming DPRK-U.S. summit would be a big step forward for catalyzing détente on the Korean peninsula and building a great future.
But now prior to the DPRK-U.S. summit, unbridled remarks provoking the other side of dialogue are recklessly made in the U.S. and I am totally disappointed as these constitute extremely unjust behavior.
High-ranking officials of the White House and the Department of State including Bolton, White House national security adviser, are letting loose the assertions of so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment, “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization”, “total decommissioning of nuclear weapons, missiles, biochemical weapons”. etc, while talking about formula of “abandoning nuclear weapons first, compensating afterwards”.
This is not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially 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.
I cannot suppress indignation at such moves of the U.S., and harbor doubt about the U.S. sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations through sound dialogue and negotiations.
World knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq which have met miserable fate.
It is absolutely absurd to dare compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development.
We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him.
If the Trump administration fails to recall the lessons learned from the past when the DPRK-U.S. talks had to undergo twists and setbacks owing to the likes of Bolton and turns its ear to the advice of quasi-“patriots” who insist on Libya mode and the like, prospects of upcoming DPRK-U.S. summit and overall DPRK-U.S. relations will be crystal clear.
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.
But now, the U.S. is miscalculating the magnanimity and broad-minded initiatives of the DPRK as signs of weakness and trying to embellish and advertise as if these are the product of its sanctions and pressure.
The U.S. is trumpeting as if it would offer economic compensation and benefit in case we abandon nuke. But we have never had any expectation of U.S. support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in future, either.
It is a ridiculous comedy to see that the Trump administration, claiming to take a different road from the previous administrations, still clings to the outdated policy on the DPRK – a policy pursued by previous administrations at the time when the DPRK was at the stage of nuclear development.
If President Trump follows in the footsteps of his predecessors, he will be recorded as more tragic and unsuccessful president than his predecessors, far from his initial ambition to make unprecedented success.
If the Trump administration takes an approach to the DPRK-U.S. summit with sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations, it will receive a deserved response from us. However, if the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit.