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Friday, May 18, 2018

Is Donald Trump threatening Kim Jong-Un with "annihilation"?

Por Damian

President Donald Trump threatened last Thursday the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, with the "annihilation" if he does not reach an agreement with him to denuclearize North Korea, while he made clear his tension with the European Union (EU) by commercial issues and for their contributions to NATO, reported El Nuevo Herald.

With the summit with Kim at stake, Trump gave two options to the North Korean leader: if he reaches an agreement on denuclearization with the United States, his stay in power will be guaranteed, but if he does not, he will suffer the same fate as the Libyan leader Muamar Al Gaddafi, who died in 2011 after being overthrown with the help of NATO.

"If you look at the model with Gaddafi, that was a total annihilation. We intervened to defeat him. That model would take place (in North Korea) if we do not reach an agreement, most likely", Trump told reporters when he met at the White House with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "But if we come to an agreement, I think Kim Jong-un is going to be very, very happy", he added.

Trump said that, for now, the United States is not basing itself "at all" on the "model of Libya" in its negotiations for the denuclearization of North Korea, distancing itself from statements by its national security adviser, John Bolton, who have deeply irritated Pyongyang.

Bolton said last Sunday that the United States wants to continue with North Korea "the model of Libya", in reference to the agreement that Washington and Tripoli signed in 2003 and by which the Libyan regime eliminated its program of weapons of mass destruction and handed over its arsenal in exchange for economic incentives.

But Trump interpreted the "model of Libya" as the allied intervention that in 2011 helped overthrow Gaddafi, who died shortly after beaten by a mob. "The model of Libya is not a model that we have at all when we think of North Korea. In Libya, we annihilate that country. That country was annihilated. There was no agreement to keep Gaddafi (in power)", said Trump when asked about it.

"With Kim Jong-un, he would be in his country; he would be running his country. Your country would be very rich. His people are tremendously industrious", stressed the president.

If an agreement on denuclearization is reached, "he (Kim) will obtain protections that would be very strong", Trump stressed in reference to his stay in power. Trump said Bolton was referring to his comment on what will happen if "a problem" arises with the talks with North Korea, because the United States can´t "let that country have nuclear weapons." He also assured that, in spite of threats from North Korea to cancel the summit between Kim and Trump, both governments are still negotiating to finalize the exact "location" of the meeting scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

"They have been negotiating as if nothing had happened," Trump said, adding that it will be known "very soon" if the summit is still standing. Trump's meeting with Stoltenberg was also marked by tensions between the US and the European Union over trade issues, two weeks after Washington's extension of the exemption from European steel and aluminum tariffs is met.