North Korea’s senior envoy for U.S. affairs renewed a threat to call off a planned summit with President Donald Trump and warned that Pyongyang could “make the U.S. taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined.”
In its most direct language aimed at Washington following a recent rapprochement between the two countries, Choe Son Hui, the North’s vice minister of foreign affairs, said if the June 12 talks were called off, the U.S. could instead face off with North Korea in a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”
Choe’s statement, issued through official state media, called out Vice President Mike Pence, who she referred to as “a political dummy.” Choe’s release followed strongly-worded statements last week from other senior North Korean officials aimed at U.S. national security adviser John Bolton and at the South Korean government of Moon Jae-in, who has pushed for dialogue with Pyongyang to avoid a nuclear standoff.
Choe added that, if the U.S. continues to offend the North’s “goodwill,” she would tell leader Kim Jong Un to reconsider the Singapore summit with the U.S. “It is the U.S. who has asked for dialogue, but now it is misleading the public opinion as if we have invited them to sit with us,” Choe said. “We will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.”
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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