Asked about Libya model, Trump says: That model was total decimation. That model would take place if we dont make a deal
Donald Trump has threatened Kim Jong-un with the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi if the North Korean leader doesnt make a deal on his nuclear weapons programme.
The US president issued the threat at the White House when he was asked about the recent suggestion by his national security adviser, John Bolton, that the Libyan model be a template for dealing with North Korea at a summit between Trump and Kim planned for 12 June in Singapore.
The model Bolton was referring to was Gaddafis agreement in December 2003 to surrender his embryonic nuclear weapons programme, which included allowing his uranium centrifuges to be shipped out to the US.
But Trump appeared to be unaware of that agreement, and interpreted the Libyan model to mean the 2011 Nato intervention in Libya in support of an insurrection, which ultimately led to Gaddafis murder at the hands of rebels in Tripoli.
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 dont 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, suggesting that the regimes survival could be assured if Kim agreed to disarm.
This with Kim Jong-un would be something where he would be there. He would be running his country. His country would be very rich, the president said.
Were willing to do a lot, and hes willing to do a lot also, and I think well actually have a good relationship, assuming we have the meeting and assuming something comes of it. And hell get protections that will be very strong.
Asked whether his comments meant that he disagreed with his national security adviser, the third of his administration, the president said: I think when John Bolton made that statement, he was talking about if we are going to be having a problem, because we cannot let that country have nukes. We just cant do it.
Joel Wit, a former US negotiator who is now a senior fellow at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, said: This is probably the wrong time to be making threats, three weeks before the summit.
The inflammatory comments come at a time when the June meeting is in doubt. The regime in Pyongyang reacted strongly against statements by Bolton over the weekend, who insisted North Korea would have to dismantle its nuclear arsenal completely and immediately. A senior official said on Wednesday that Kim would not take part in a summit with such one-sided goals.