North Korea is saying it will reconsider a summit with President Donald Trump if the U.S. continues with what it calls “evil acts.”
Pyongyang was reacting to comments by Vice President Mike Pence who appeared on Fox News Monday to warn Kim Jong Un he would be making a “great mistake” to play around with the United States before the talks.
Pence also said North Korea could wind up like Libya if Kim does not make a deal.
Libya has been been in political and social turmoil since it gave up its nuclear ambitions and its longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was killed.
North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hiu made no attempt to soften her government’s offense, calling Pence’s words “unbridled and impudent.”
“As a person involved in U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing from the mouth of a U.S. vice president,” the state run news agency reported Thursday.
Choe also hinted that the North does not need a summit with Trump.
“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.”
Trump said Wednesday the U.S. will know by next week whether he will meet with Kim on June 12 in Singapore as scheduled.
“It could very well be June 12th,” Trump Wednesday. “If we go, it’ll be a great thing for North Korea.”
Trump had earlier said if the June 12 date does not work out, the summit could be held later.
North Korea previously hinted it may call off the summit because of U.S. demands it unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday he is “very hopeful” there will be talks, but said whether they happen is “ultimately up to Chairman Kim.”
Pompeo, who has already met with Kim twice, told the lawmakers the U.S. position has not changed and there will be no easing of sanctions on North Korea “until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
He said the U.S. will not hesitate to walk away from the talks if a bad deal is on the table.
‘Now is the time’
But visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at the State Department that Beijing believes the summit should take place as scheduled.
“If you want to solve the problem, now is the time. If you want peace, now is the time. If you want to make history, now is the time,” Wang said.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday approved travel to Singapore by a North Korean delegation for the summit.
Sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program and missile tests include a travel ban on a large number of senior North Korean officials.