U.S. President Donald Trump said that he was not considering a so-called Libya model for dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, which has been strongly opposed by Pyongyang, but still implied that the model may be employed in the case that the Kim regime does not agree on complete denuclearization. Also, he suggested that China may have influenced the North to take a harder line against the United States.
“The Libyan model is not a model that we have at all when we are thinking of North Korea,” Trump said during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House Thursday (local time). During the impromptu question and answer session that lasted about 11 minutes, the president made it clear that he had no intention of applying the Libya model of 2003 to North Korea through which nuclear facilities were inspected and dismantled under the leadership of the United States and the nuclear material was shipped to a laboratory in Tennessee. Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton earlier suggested such an approach.
“I think we’ll actually have a good relationship assuming we have the meeting and assuming something comes of it and he’ll get protections that will be very strong,” said Trump to a question asking whether the United States would offer security guarantees to North Korea. “That model will 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.”
President Trump also noted that North Korea’s sudden change in attitude shown in the unilateral cancellation of an inter-Korean high-level talk scheduled for Wednesday may have been influenced by Chinese President Xi Jinping. “There has been a big difference since they (North Korea and China) had the second meeting,” said Trump. “President Xi could be influencing Kim Jong Un.”
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