On Tuesday, North Korea backed out of high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for later that day. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un then released two scathing statements slamming the Trump administration and indicating that the meeting between himself and the U.S. president might be in jeopardy.
North Korea Cancels Talks with South Korea
According to Yonhap News, this move comes in response to the Max Thunder drills that took place between the air forces of South Korea and the United States. The rogue state’s news organization argued that these military exercises were a “rehearsal” for the invasion of North Korea.
Both countries were supposed to address follow-up measures to the meeting between the leaders of both Koreas. Kim Jong Un was expected to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump later this month. However, with Pyongyang’s recent announcement, it’s unclear if it will happen.
Pyongyang Pushes Back on Denuclearization
Kim Jong Un released a harshly-worded statement rebuking the Trump administration for its approach to pursuing a denuclearization deal. Specifically, he pushed back against the idea of a Libya model of nuclear abandonment, which would require North Korea to dismantle its program before receiving any concessions.
According to the North Korean dictator, Pyongyang had “made clear on several occasions that precondition for denuclearization is to put an end to anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States.”
In his statement, Kim accused the U.S. of “miscalculating the magnanimity and broad-minded initiatives of the DPRK as signs of weakness.” He also took issue with the claims that Washington’s sanctions and rhetoric motivated Pyongyang to release American hostages.
What Does This Mean?
Earlier this year, Kim Jong Un told South Korea’s leadership that he was willing to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. He also indicated that he wanted to meet with President Trump.
This latest development casts doubt on Kim’s true intentions. While many hope that he is serious about creating peace, others remember how his father, Kim Jong Il, lured President Clinton into a deal that allowed North Korea to develop weapons of mass destruction.
It’s not surprising that Kim wants to avoid an arrangement similar to the one between Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and President George W. Bush. The United States promised not to depose the Libyan dictator in exchange for Libya’s abandonment of their program, but then Obama broke this promise and had us invade the country. Kim does not want to meet the same end as Colonel Gaddafi. However, President Trump would likely be hesitant to give concessions to North Korea before they denuclearize. One only has to look at what happened when Clinton made this type of agreement.
Do these new developments mean there will be no negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang? Not necessarily. This could be simple posturing on Kim Jong Un’s part. Hopefully, this incident will be only a temporary setback in the peace process.