North Korea criticised United States Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday for saying that the country could end up like Libya if it fails to make a nuclear deal with Washington, CNN reported.
In an interview to Fox News on Monday, Pence said if Pyongyang does not give up its nuclear weapons, Washington could return to the “Libya model”. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi dismantled his nuclear weapons programme in 2003 in return for promises of sanctions relief. However, he was killed in 2011 in a popular uprising that was backed by the United States and other western nations.
National Security Adviser John Bolton had made a similar reference last week.
Choe Son Hui, a vice minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said Pence’s comments were ignorant, and warned the US that she would recommend that her country’s leadership reconsider the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if it kept up this rhetoric. On Tuesday, Trump said there was a “substantial chance” that the summit, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, might be delayed.
“Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behaviour of the United States,” Choe said, according to North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency.