North Korea has cast further doubt over a planned summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, after threatening that Pyongyang could make the US ‘taste an appalling tragedy’.
In a statement released Thursday, North Korean vice foreign minister Choe Son-hui claimed that a ‘nuclear-to-nuclear showdown’ could be on the cards if the two countries cancel a 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…of the us’, she starkly warned.
‘We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.’
The stark warning comes after US Vice President Mike Pence previously warned that North Korea could end up like Libya if a nuclear deal is not agreed.
In the early 2000s, then Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi agreed to abandon the country’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief.
He was overthrown by Washington-backed rebels only years later.
Mr Pence said: ‘There was some talk about the Libyan model last week, and you know, as the President made clear, this will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn’t make a deal’.
In response, Choe described his comments as ‘ignorant and stupid’.
The heightened war of words comes as North Korea today prepares to close its only known nuclear test site today – although it is still expected to retain its nuclear arsenal.
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Earlier this week, President Trump also hinted that the talks could be cancelled.
We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens. There are certain conditions we want to happen. I think we’ll get those conditions. And if we don’t, we won’t have the meeting,”