By Elton Gomes
There is significant uncertainty surrounding the intensely anticipated meeting between the US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Despite Trump’s confidence and positivity regrading the upcoming summit, uncertainties mounted after North Korea threatened to abandon the meeting, which was scheduled to take place on June 12.
A North Korean official said that the country is not interested in the summit with the US, if it will be based on “one-sided” demands in terms of nuclear disarmament.
BREAKING: North Korea official says country has no interest in summit with US if it’s based on ‘one-sided’ demands to give up nuclear weapons
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 16, 2018
According to a statement from the North Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea will never accept the US’s economic assistance in exchange for doing away with its nuclear program, CNN reported. Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted in by the KCNA as having said that the US claimed that “it would offer economic compensation and benefit in case we abandon (nuclear weapons).”
Kim also expressed discontent towards US’s National Security Adviser John Bolton. Kim said, “We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him,” BBC reported. This “feeling of repugnance” is attributed to Bolton’s statement, that the North could follow what Libya did in terms of a verifiable denuclearisation. However, Pyongyang officials were concerned after realising that Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, who opted for nuclear disarmament, was killed by NATO-backed rebel forces.
Kim said that the “world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq,”CBS News reported. “It is absolutely absurd to dare compare the DPRK (North Korea), a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development.”
This development comes after North Korea abruptly cancelled a meeting with South Korean, officials two hours prior to its commencement. The meeting was scheduled to take place alongside joint military exercises, known as Max Thunder, between the US and South Korea. North Korea denounced the drills as a “rude and wicked provocation,” as per the South China Morning Post.
Here’s what happened
After Trump accepted Kim Jong Un’s invitation in March, the US president said that he and Kim would try and make the summit “a very special moment for World Peace!”
The summit is slated to be held in Singapore on June 12, and it would be the first time a sitting US president would meet a North Korean leader. The summit was also important in the backdrop of Trump directing senseless comments towards Kim and North Korea. However, even though the prospects of the summit seemed promising, analysts and experts were sceptical about it actually taking place.
An article in the Guardian mentioned that “Trump is more likely to spill his guts about classified intelligence than he is to get the upper hand with any kind of meaningful deal.” The article then mentioned the numerous instances where Trump has, without reason, spilled secrets.
Moreover, the meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in was touted as a positive development, and was considered to be the diplomatic event of the year, with the hyper-conservative North finally opening up to talks. Kim’s meeting with Trump evinced similar interest. However, North Korea seems to have drastically changed its rhetoric. Trump’s decisions have plunged the world into further uncertainty, and it remains to be seen whether Pyongyang will heed his calls for complete nuclear disarmament.
Elton Gomes is a Staff Writer at Qrius