“North Korea said it will reconsider a June 12 meeting with President Donald Trump if Washington insists on Pyongyang relinquishing nuclear weapons.”
North Korea on Wednesday injected further uncertainty into plans for a highly anticipated summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.
In a statement carried by state news agency KCNA that was widely reported and translated by media outlets, North Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan said his country will reconsider the historic June 12 meeting if the U.S. insists on Pyongyang relinquishing its nuclear weapons.
The development is the latest sign of possible backtracking by Kim following the ruler’s months-long international charm offensive that was widely hoped to clear tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Earlier, the rogue state canceled talks with South Korea and threatened to ditch the June 12 summit in protest over Washington and Seoul’s joint military drills.
Wednesday’s news “is classic North Korean playbook,” said Sean King, senior vice president at consulting firm Park Strategies.
Ongoing peace efforts, which include Kim’ssummit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-In last month, may “be moving faster than North Korea ever expected and this is sort of their passive-aggressive excuse to get out of it,” he continued.
Recent “unbridled remarks” from Washington prior to the June 12 meeting constituted signs of “reckless” behavior, Kim Kye Gwan stated.
Specifically naming National Security Advisor John Bolton, the North Korean minister said U.S. officials are “letting loose the assertions of so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment” and discussing a formula of “abandoning nuclear weapons first [and] compensating afterwards.”
That amounts to “awfully sinister” moves to impose on North Korea “the destiny of Libya or Iraq, which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers,” the minister said, stressing that Pyongyang rejects Libya-style denuclearization.
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From the Washington Examiner:
In just more than a year, Trump has been able to accomplish something that no other president or world leader has been able to do since Kim took power — and that’s to smoke him out of his hole and force him to the negotiating table with foreign leaders and heads of state.
Read the whole thing …
So far, so good. But will it lead to Kim scrapping his nuclear weapons program? That’s the burning question.
It’s a story of an incredible lack of foresight by Democrats:
With last weekend’s surprise nuclear test, North Korea has reached final stage of its crash course to develop thermonuclear weapons that can reach and destroy U.S. cities. So why are we not on a crash course to protect our cities from North Korean nuclear missiles?
Answer: Because for more than three decades, Democrats have done everything in their power to prevent, obstruct or delay the deployment of ballistic missile defense.
Opposition to missile defense has been an article of faith for Democrats since President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. Sen. Edward Kennedy led the early opposition to what Democrats derisively labeled “Star Wars,” denouncing missile defense as a “mirage” and “a certain prescription for an arms race in outer space.” Running against Reagan in 1984, Walter Mondale called it a “dangerously destabilizing” and unworkable “hoax.”
“Reagan nonetheless moved forward with research and development,” and so did his successor, George H. W. Bush. However, when President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he “cut national missile defense funding by 80 percent.”
Then, when “Republicans took over Congress, and passed a defense authorization bill in 1996 that required deployment,” President Clinton “vetoed it on the grounds that there was no threat.”
When George W. Bush took office in 2001, “he revitalized missile defense efforts” and things began to look up again — until Barack Obama became president in 2009 and “slashed funding for ballistic missile defense by 25 percent.”
In 1983, Reagan asked “Isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war?” For the Democrats, the answer was no. No one is happier about that today than Kim Jong Un.