North Korea would reconsider its participation in the historical Pyongyang-Washington summit in Singapore planned for June 12, the country’s state-run news agency KCNA reported on May 16.
According to a press statement of North Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un stated that its country isn’t interested in any negotiations that envisage only unilateral denuclearization without guarantees.
Kim Jong Un criticized the “so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment” as this move hadn’t been 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,” the statement reads.
“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.”
Kim Jong Un called on US President Donald Trump to review their policy towards North Korea:
“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.”
On May 15, Pyongyang cancelled the May 16 North-South Korean talks “in light of the provocative military” military exercises between the South Korea and the US, KCNA reported.
The large-scale 2018 Max Thunder joint air combat drill throughout South Korea started on May 11 and will last until May 25.
According to the KCNA report, the military exercise “is a deliberate challenge to the Panmunjom declaration and is a deliberate military provocation” and “reflects the unchanging attitude of the US and South Korea to continue ‘maximum pressure and sanctions’ against us.”
On May 15, a spokeswoman for the US Department of State Heather Nauert defended the right to conduct drills and pointed out that Washington would continue planning the meeting with North Korea’s leader:
“We have not heard anything from that government or the Government of South Korea to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un next month.”
According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea posted on May 15, North Korea’s government took “technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test”.
“A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25, depending on weather condition,” the document reads.
On April 29, US National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that Washington “is looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004” for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, according to the interview at the US TV channel CBS News.
In 2003, Libya gave up its nuclear weapons program under the “international community” pressure and transferred its nuclear weapons to the US. In 2011, the US and its NATO allies intervened Libya, backed an armed insurrection and immersed Libya into chaos.