N. Korea threatens to rethink Trump-Kim summit: Yonhap

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-05-16 14:28 Updated : 2018-05-16 14:28
글씨작게 글씨크게

[KCNA / Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- A senior North Korean official warned Wednesday that Pyongyang will reconsider the agreed-upon summit talks with the United States if it comes under continued pressure to "unilaterally" abandon its nuclear program.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan made clear that the communist regime is not interested in any nuclear talks in which it is coerced into giving up its nuclear arsenal, according to Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA.

"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," he said in English. DPRK is the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He urged Washington to join talks with sincerity, which would be met by a "deserved response" by the North. Kim's remarks came hours after the North abruptly announced an indefinite suspension of inter-Korean talks planned for Wednesday, citing ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and the U.S.

Pyongyang also threatened to cancel the much-anticipated summit talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. earlier said that it continues to plan for the historic summit despite the regime's threat to withdraw. The two leaders are set to meet in Singapore on June 12.

Kim expressed displeasure with the U.S. bringing up previous denuclearization methods, including the one used for Libya. He said that it is "absolutely absurd" to compare a country whose nuclear weapons program was in the initial stages with the North, which already possesses its own nuclear arsenal.

Saying that North Korea has already expressed an intent to make the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free, he reiterated Pyongyang's demand for security assurance, demanding the U.S. end its hostile policy and nuclear threats against its regime.

"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," he said.

He also made it clear that the North has no interest in a quid pro quo deal in which the U.S. provides economic benefits in exchange for the North giving up its nuclear weapons.

"The U.S. is trumpeting as if it would offer economic compensation and benefit in case we abandon nuke," Kim said. "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, too."