Trump warns N’Korean leader: Denuclearise or risk overthrow

President Donald Trump of the US has told Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea, to abandon nuclear weapons and be rewarded with ”protections” or risk being overthrown if the arsenal remains.

According to reports, Trump laid out the choice for Kim ahead of their planned summit in Singapore, on June 12.

Trump maintained that the scheduled meeting in Singapore was on track, in spite of North Korea’s threat to cancel it, over concerns about the US push to see the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

North Korea had argued that it needed its nuclear weapons to preserve its security, and also expressed concerns about giving up on its nuclear weapon.

It cited the example of Muammar Gaddafi, former Libyan president, who had given up his nuclear programme in the 2000s but died at the hands of rebel forces amid a popular uprising in October 2011.

John Bolton, national security adviser, cited, ”the Libya model of 2003 to 2004” as a basis for North Korea talks in May, which drew personal rebuke from the North Korean government on Wednesday.

Trump, while addressing the North Korean concerns , said if Kim agree to denuclearise, ”he will get protections that would be very strong”.

However, he warned that failure to make a deal could have grave consequences for Kim.

On Libya model, Trump said: ”That model would take place if we don’t make a deal.”

”The Libyan model isn’t the model we have at all. In Libya, we decimated that country. There was no deal to keep Gaddafi,” he said.

He suggested China was influencing North Korea’s thinking regarding the summit, pointing to Kim’s visit to China immediately before Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, visited Pyongyang to finalise the summit date and location.

However, he said nothing has changed with respect to North Korea after the warning from Pyongyang.

He added that North Korean officials were discussing logistical details about the meeting with the US ”as if nothing happened.”

In addition to threatening to pull out of the meeting with Trump, North Korea abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with South Korean officials over joint US-South Korean military exercise.

Dana White, pentagon spokeswoman, said the schedule of military exercises had not changed.

White said the annual exercises were long-planned, defensive in nature and meant to ensure the readiness of US and South Korean forces.

”Exercise Max Thunder,” which began on Monday and ends on May 25, includes aircraft from across the US military services.

The 2017 exercise included roughly 1,200 US personnel and about 640 South Koreans, and the 2018 drill is similar.

Trump, speaking at an Oval Office meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, said he would not discuss US troop levels in South Korea during his meeting with Kim.

North Korea had said it would not return to talks with South Korea due to the exercises.

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