As the United States continues to prepare for the planned historic summit with North Korea, the Kim Jong Un-led nation has once again ratcheted up the rhetoric, this time aimed at Vice President Mike Pence.
On Thursday, vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry Choe Son Hui made it clear that she will urge North Korea’s leadership to back out of the planned meeting if the U.S. continues down its current path, while also warning of a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”
“Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” Choe said, according to North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency.
Choe also called the vice president’s recent comments doubling down on National Security Advisor John Bolton’s comparison between North Korea and Lybia, “unbridled and impudent,” adding that the comparison proved he was a “political dummy.”
The North Koreans view the “Libya model” comparison as a threat given that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was brutally overthrown shortly after giving up his own nuclear weapons program.
“As a person involved in the US affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president,” she added.
On Monday, Pence backed up Bolton’s comments during an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.
“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,” Pence said.
The vice president also said it would be a “great mistake” for North Korea to try and to “play Donald Trump” during the ongoing negotiations.
“We really hope that Kim Jong Un will seize the opportunity to dismantle his nuclear weapons program, and do so by peaceable means,” Pence added.