In an emotional break-up letter, president Donald Trump today canceled his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. It would be “inappropriate” to have the much-anticipated meeting, he wrote, given “the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in [North Korea’s] most recent statement.”
Trump was referring to a statement released yesterday in the name of North Korean vice-foreign minister Choe Son Hui. That letter—arguably the real break-up letter in North Korean-US relations—takes umbrage at vice president Mike Pence’s suggestion that North Korea could end up like Libya, and describes Pence as a “dummy.” More concerning, it explicitly threatens a military attack, warning, “We can also make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now.”
Trump seemed to respond directly to that threat in his own letter, writing “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” He also rebutted Pyongyang’s claim that the US “asked for dialogue,” writing, “We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea but to us that is totally irrelevant.”
Trump may blame the cancellation on the North’s fiery rhetoric, but talks had already stalled earlier this week, with North Korea unable to commit to complete denuclearization. Yesterday, before the Pyongyang statement was released, Trump had said the summit “may not work out.”
Read Chloe Son Hui’s statement in full (via the AP):
At an interview with Fox News on May 21, US Vice-President Pence made unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya, military option for North Korea never came off the table, the US needs complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation, and so on.
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.
If he is vice-president of “single superpower” as is in name, it will be proper for him to know even a little bit about the current state of global affairs and to sense to a certain degree the trends in dialogue and the climate of détente.
We could surmise more than enough what a political dummy he is as he is trying to compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya that had simply installed a few items of equipment and fiddled around with them.
Soon after the White House National Security Adviser Bolton made the reckless remarks, Vice-President Pence has again spat out nonsense that the DPRK would follow in Libya’s footstep.
It is to be underlined, however, that in order not to follow in Libya’s footstep, we paid a heavy price to build up our powerful and reliable strength that can defend ourselves and safeguard peace and security in the Korean peninsula and the region.
In view of the remarks of the US high-ranking politicians who have not yet woken up to this stark reality and compare the DPRK to Libya that met a tragic fate, I come to think that they know too little about us.
To borrow their words, we can also make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now.
Before making such reckless threatening remarks without knowing exactly who he is facing, Pence should have seriously considered the terrible consequences of his words.
It is the US who has asked for dialogue, but now it is misleading the public opinion as if we have invited them to sit with us.
I only wonder what is the ulterior motive behind its move and what is it the US has calculated to gain from that.
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.
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.
In case the US offends against our goodwill and clings to unlawful and outrageous acts, I will put forward a suggestion to our supreme leadership for reconsidering the DPRK-US summit.
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