North Korea is threatening to reconsider Kim Jong Un’s participation in a summit with President Donald Trump next month, saying that it is up to the United States to decide whether it wants to “meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”
The punchy statement comes a day after Trump suggested there was a “substantial chance” that he would postpone or cancel the summit, scheduled to be held in Singapore on June 12, if North Korea did not meet “certain conditions,” without elaborating on what those conditions were.
A close aide to Kim unleashed a torrent of invective against the Trump administration Thursday morning, calling Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy” for remarks he made to Fox News on Monday.
“As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice-president,” said Choe Son Hui, a vice foreign minister who was previously the regime’s top official in charge of relations with the United States. The daughter of a former premier, she is also thought to have direct access to Kim.
“We will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us,” she said, returning to the military threats that were the hallmark of bilateral relations in 2017. “Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision. . . of the U.S.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Anna Fifield