International News

No ‘Libya model’ for denuclearization of DPRK: Trump

US President Donald Trump has said he would not pursue a so-called “Libya model” to denuclearize the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), a model that Pyongyang has singled out in the past as a source of its distrust for Washington.
On Tuesday, North Korea threatened to cancel the summit set for June 12 in Singapore between its leader Kim Jung-un and Trump, blaming US demands for “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”
Washington will “have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military” said the North’s official news agency KCNA.
That was a reference to comments made by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who said he was thinking of employing a similar plan to what the US and its allies did by dismantling Libya’s weapons of mass destruction starting in 2003.
The White House has “very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004,” he said, a process that saw former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s make a full disclosure about the weapons programs his country was running, information that were later on verified by American officials.
Like they did in Libya, the Americans would seek to destroy any nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons program that North Korea might be running, he added.
Trump on Thursday tried to put his summit with Kim n back on track, saying he would not seek to implement a so-called “Libya model”.
“The Libyan model isn’t a model that we have at all when we are thinking of North Korea,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “In Libya we decimated that country. That country was decimated. There was no deal to keep Gaddafi. The Libyan model that was mentioned was a much different deal.”
Trump offers ‘protections’ if Kim surrenders nukes
Trump also said he is “willing to do a lot” to offer the North Korean leader “protections” if Kim agrees to surrender his nuclear weapons.
“He will get protections that are very strong,” Trump said. “The best thing he could do is make a deal.”
He said preparations for the summit are moving ahead “as if nothing happened.”
“Our people are literally dealing with them right now in terms of making arrangements, so that’s a lot different than what you read, but oftentimes what you read, if it’s not fake news, is true,” he said.
No plans to cut back US-South Korea drills: Pentagon
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense said on Thursday it was not considering cutting back the joint US-South Korean military exercises which have been condemned by Pyongyang.
“There’s been no talk of reducing anything. There’s been no talk of changing our scope,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.
The exercises “are defensive in nature and the scope hasn’t changed … This is about safeguarding the alliance,” she added.
North Korea has threatened cancel the talks with South Korea unless issues leading to the suspension of a high-level meeting this week are resolved.
“Unless the serious situation, which led to the suspension of the north-south high-level talks, is settled, it will never be easy to sit face to face again with the present regime of South Korea,” the statement said without further elaboration.
North Korea has called the “Max Thunder” joint military exercises between the US and the South an “undisguised challenge” and a “deliberate military provocation” against the apparent strides toward peace.
The US-South Korea drills started on May 11 and involve some 100 aircraft from the two countries, including F-22 stealth fighter jets.