Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea on Monday that it must reach a deal with the U.S. or face serious consequences.
“There was some talk about the Libyan model last week, and you know, as the President made clear, this will only end like the Libyan model ended if [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal,” Pence said on Monday.
Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi agreed to give up his nuclear weapons in 2003 in exchange for sanctions relief from the Bush administration, only to be captured and killed by U.S.-backed rebel forces in 2011. Kim has been angered by past comparisons between the denuclearization of Libya and that of the Koreas, given Qaddafi’s fate.
“The model, if you look at that model with Qaddafi, that was a total decimation,” President Trump said of the comparison last week. “We went in there to beat him. Now that model would take place if we don’t make a deal, most likely. But if we make a deal, I think Kim Jong-un is going to be very, very happy.”
Pence assured that no concessions have been offered to North Korea ahead of the historic June 12 summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim. Last week, North Korea threatened to cancel the meeting over military drills between South Korea and the U.S., claiming that the exercises were preparations for an invasion. But plans for the meeting are still moving forward despite the aggressive rhetoric of the North’s state-run media.
“The reality is that we hope for a peaceable solution,” Pence said. “The president remains open to a summit taking place, and will continue to pursue that path even while we stand strong on the objective of denuclearization and the extreme pressure campaign that’s underway today.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who wants to avoid a deadly war on the Korean Peninsula, will meet with Trump on Tuesday in Washington to continue planning the peace talks.