Pence: N Korea could end up like Libya if Kim does not cooperate

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Vice President Mike Pence introduces US President Donald Trump during a rally in Elkhart, Indiana, May 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

US Vice President Mike Pence has warned that North Korea could end up like Libya if Kim Jong-un does not cooperate with the United Sates and give up nuclear weapons.

"You know, there was some talk of the Libyan model last week. And as the president made clear, this will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn't make a deal," Pence said on Monday in an interview with Fox News.

"It would be a great mistake for Kim Kim Jong-un to think he could play Donald Trump," Pence said, adding that Trump would walk away from the talks if they prove unproductive.  

"But we hope for better. We really hope that Kim Kim Jong-un will seize the opportunity to dismantle his nuclear weapons program, and do so by peaceable means," he said.

On Sunday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the United States was looking at using the so-called “Libya model” as a way of forcing Pyongyang to surrender its nuclear weapons.

The model Bolton was referring to was Libya's Muammar Gaddafi’s agreement in December 2003 to surrender Libya’s nuclear weapons program, which included allowing uranium centrifuges to be shipped out to the US.

But President Donald Trump appeared to interpret the “Libyan model” to mean the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya in support of an uprising, which ultimately led to Gaddafi’s murder at the hands of Western-backed rebels in Tripoli.

Last week, Trump threatened Kim with the same fate as Gaddafi if Pyongyang does not abandon its nuclear weapons program.

He issued the threat at the White House when he was asked about the suggestion by Bolton that the “Libyan model” be a template for dealing with North Korea at a summit between Trump and Kim planned for June 12 in Singapore.

“The model, if you look at that model with Gaddafi, that was a total decimation. 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,” Trump said.

North Korea has threatened to cancel the summit between its leader 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 ruckus," said the North's official news agency KCNA.

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