US President Donald Trump tried to put his summit with Kim Jong Un back on track Thursday, offering the North Korean leader guarantees of staying in power if he abandons nuclear weapons.
As prospects for a historic summit next month between the two leaders dimmed, Trump told reporters that if the meeting were to go ahead successfully, Kim “will get protections that will be very strong.”
“He’d be in his country and running his country. His country would be very rich.”
But the pledge came barbed with a warning that if diplomacy fails, Kim could suffer the same fate as Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi, who was overthrown and killed by rebels.
Trump’s comments came as Pyongyang appeared to cool to the idea of the sit-down in Singapore on June 12, denouncing US demands for “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”
Trump suggested Kim’s apparent about-face may have been at the behest of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
“It could very well be that he’s influencing Kim Jong Un,” Trump said, citing a recent meeting between the pair, their second in a month’s time. “We’ll see what happens.”
For decades, Washington has watched in horror as North Korea — propped up by trade with China — has made a series of technological leaps toward building a missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon to US cities.
That grim achievement is now within reach, prompting Trump to launch a campaign of “maximum pressure” on the regime, coupled with the offer of talks.
A series of landmark meetings between Kim and his South Korean counterpart and between North Korean and US officials had made diplomacy look like the more likely avenue.
– Libya model –
After the months of photo-ops and diplomatic backslapping, a North Korean official was quoted as saying the summit may not go ahead.
The official also groused about Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who referred to Libya as a model for denuclearization.
In 2003, Kadhafi agreed to the elimination of his country’s nuclear program and chemical weapons arsenal to gain sanctions relief.
But Trump, and Pyongyang, appeared to zero in on what happened a decade later during the Libyan revolution, when NATO-backed rebels ousted the government and killed Kadhafi.
“The Libyan model isn’t a model that we have (in mind) at all when we’re thinking of North Korea,” Trump said while sitting at arm’s length from Bolton in the Oval Office.
“If you look at that model with Kadhafi, that was a total decimation. We went in there to beat him,” Trump said.
“Now, that model would take place if we don’t make a deal, most likely,” he warned Pyongyang.
“But if we make a deal, I think Kim Jong Un is going to be very, very happy.”
Although the Kim-Trump summit remains up in the air, preparations are continuing.
“North Korea is actually talking to us about times and everything else as though nothing happened,” said Trump.
“We are continuing to negotiate in terms of location… where to meet, how to meet, rooms, everything else and negotiating like nothing happened.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib defies Trump in NAACP speech: ‘I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president’
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) defiantly insisted on Monday that she would be in Congress until President Donald Trump is impeached.
At the 2019 annual NAACP convention, the announcer noted that Tlaib is a member of the four congresswomen known as The Squad who have recently been told by Trump to "go back" home.
Tlaib began her remarks by alluding to the president's attack.
"I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president," she shouted.
Watch the video below from the NAACP.
Why this 2017 German magazine’s cover painting of Trump as a Nazi is getting so much attention now
Just months after Donald Trump was sworn in as President, a drawing of the nascent American president was featured on the cover of a top German magazine. Trump was painted as draped in the American flag, and giving a Nazi salute. That chilling August 2017 edition of the German weekly magazine, Stern, received tremendous international attention.
"His fight! Neo-Nazis, KU-Klux Klan, racism: How Donald Trump is protecting hate in America," is a Facebook-generated translation of the cover story's title.
Kellyanne Conway erupts after Fox hosts question Trump’s attacks on The Squad
Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday went off on an angry rant after Fox News hosts questioned the wisdom of President Donald Trump's latest attacks on four Democratic lawmakers known as "The Squad."
In particular, Conway was asked about Trump's tweet in which he said Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were incapable of loving the United States.
Conway responded by attacking the women for voting against funding for the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, which the lawmakers argued would just be giving the president money to further his campaign of abusing immigrants.