Within the last few days, North Korea has started to let foreign journalists into the isolated country to watch the deconstruction of nuclear test sites. North Korea’s actions were well received by the international community, but talks with the United States that were meant to happen in June may be breaking down.
Vice President Mike Pence is to blame
The vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry Choe Son Hui warned that if the US continues on its current path the meeting between the two countries could be canceled. Choe said that she would tell North Korea’s leadership to reconsider the planned summit.
“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 behavior of the United States,” Choe said.
Choe was responding to recent comments by Vice President Mike Pence. Pence was on Fox News and asked about what approach the US could take to North Korea. The vice president said there was a chance that the US could use the Libya model to handle North Korea.
In the 2000s Libya made a deal to give up its nuclear weapons. Only a decade later Moammar Gadhafi was killed by NATO-backed forces.
North Korea called Pence a “political dummy” for comparing Libya to North Korea. North Korea claims that its nuclear program is much more tested and more advanced than Libya’s program ever was.
“I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president,” Choe said.
Even before Pence’s latest comments, North Korea was already warning that it may back out of talks. Joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea angered the North Koreans. Trump did admit that the negotiations could be moved back.
White House officials are set to travel to Singapore this weekend to meet with North Koreans on logistical and agenda items. Despite threats of the talks being canceled administration officials are still hopeful and believe something good can come from the talks. Trump reportedly wants more high-level talks with Pyongyang before the summit.