US doesn’t want Kim to end like Gaddaf i
DONALD Trump sought yesterday to placate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un after Pyongyang threatened to scrap an unprecedented summit.
The US president said Mr Kim’s personal security would be guaranteed in any deal and his country would not suffer the fate of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.
But he said of North Korea: ‘We cannot let that country have nukes. We just can’t do it.’
North Korea has been working on missiles capable of hitting the United States.
He said the deal he was looking at would give Mr Kim ‘protections that will be very strong’. Mr Trump said: ‘He would be there, he would be running his country, his country would be very rich. The Libya model was a much different model. We decimated that country.’
The US president said he was not pursuing the so-called ‘Libya model’ to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme. Gaddafi was deposed and killed after Libyans joined the 2011 Arab Spring protests, aided by Nato allies who had encouraged him to give up his banned weapons of mass destruction under a 2003 deal.
Analysts have suggested Pyongyang will have bristled at the notion North Korea could suffer the same fate if it makes concessions on its nuclear programme.
Mr Trump said the Libya model would only come into play if a
‘His country would be very rich’
deal could not be reached with North Korea, but he did not elaborate.
He also said that as far as he knew the meeting with Mr Kim was still on track, but that the North Korean leader was possibly being influenced by China after two recent visits there.
Mr Trump distanced himself from comments by his national security adviser John Bolton that North Korea cited when casting doubt on the June 12 summit. Mr Bolton had suggested the Libya model in comments on Sunday, prompting North Korea to threaten to cancel.
Mr Trump said: ‘North Korea is actually talking to us about times and everything else as though nothing happened.’
North Korea, which has abruptly changed tone after weeks of warming toward South Korea and preparations for the US summit, said on Wednesday the meeting with Mr Trump might not take place if the US continues to demand it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal
The US wants the ‘complete, verifiable, and irreversible’ dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.
North Korea has given no indication it is willing to go beyond statements of broad support for the concept of denuclearisation.
It has said in previous, failed talks that it could consider giving up its arsenal if the US removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.
Nuclear option: Donald Trump yesterday
N Korea leader: Kim Jong-un