Trump: De­nu­cle­arize or risk be­ing over­thrown

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - WORLD - By Lolita C. Baldor and Zeke Miller Lolita C. Baldor and Zeke Miller are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

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.

Ahn Young-joon / As­so­ci­ated Press

Pedes­tri­ans in Seoul watch a pro­gram re­gard­ing the sum­mit be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and Kim Jong Un.

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