North Korea slams ′stupid and ignorant′ Mike Pence remarks | News | DW | 24.05.2018
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North Korea slams 'stupid and ignorant' Mike Pence remarks

North Korea has slammed US Vice President Mike Pence's warning that the country could end up like Libya if it doesn't forge a deal with the US. The North has once again threatened to cancel the upcoming Singapore summit.

Mike Pence and Kim Yo Jong at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Semansky)

Mike Pence and Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un's sister, attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea

North Korea on Thursday hit out at US Vice President Mike Pence, lambasting comments he made about the country as "ignorant and stupid."

In a statement released via the state-run KCNA news agency, North Korea's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Choe Son Hui, said she couldn't suppress her surprise "at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president."

Read more: North Korea denuclearization: can Pyongyang be trusted?

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Pence said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be making a "great mistake" by trying to play Washington ahead of the planned summit with US President Donald Trump, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

Pence went to warn that North Korea could end up like Libya if Kim refused to make a deal on denuclearization. Libya's former leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, years after he agreed to give up his country's atomic weapons program.

"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" KCNA quoted Choe as saying. "Whether the U.S. 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."

Read more: Will Trump and Kim hash out 'something like the Iran deal'?

Last week, North Korea said it would "reconsider" next month's meeting with Trump if talks on denuclearization turned out to be "one-sided."

Despite Pyongyang's threat to walk away, the White House remains hopeful the summit will take place as planned and said it is working on making sure it happens. Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday in Washington for consultations, but also admitted that talks with Kim could be delayed.

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dm/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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