Trump: Denuclearize or risk being overthrown
WASHINGTON — President Trump laid out a stark choice for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ahead of their planned summit next month: Abandon nuclear weapons and be rewarded with “protections,” or risk being overthrown and possible death if the arsenal remains.
Trump maintained the scheduled June 12 meeting in Singapore is on track, despite the North’s threat Wednesday to cancel over concerns about the U.S. push to see the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The North has argued it needs its nuclear weapons to preserve its security, and has expressed concerns about giving up its nuclear program. The North cites the example of former Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, who died at the hands of rebel forces amid a popular uprising in October 2011; he had given up his nuclear program in the 2000s.
National Security Adviser John Bolton explicwe itly cited “the Libya model of 2003-2004” as a basis for the North Korea talks last month, which drew personal rebuke from the North Korean government Wednesday.
Trying to address the North Korean concerns, the president said if Kim were to agree to denuclearize, “he’ll get protections that would be very strong.”
But Trump warned that failure to make a deal could have grave consequences for Kim. Mentioning what happened in Libya, Trump said, “That model would take place if don’t make a deal.”
“The Libyan model isn’t the model we have at all. In Libya, we decimated that country.” Trump added. “There was no deal to keep Khadafy.”
Trump said he is “willing to do a lot” to provide security guarantees to Kim. “The best thing he could do is make a deal.”
Trump also said he will not discuss U.S. troop levels in South Korea during his meeting with Kim.
Pedestrians in Seoul watch a program regarding the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.