North Korea calls US Vice President a 'political puppet'

A North Korean official said Mike Pence's comments about the Libya Model were 'unbridled and impudent'

A senior North Korean official has dismissed remarks made by US Vic President Mike Pence, calling him a “political puppet”.

Choe Son-hui, a vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said Pyongyang would not "beg" for dialogue and warned of a "nuclear showdown" if diplomacy failed.

"Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States," Choe said in comments carried by North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency Thursday.

Choe was responding to comments by Pence made Monday during a Fox News interview that she deemed "unbridled and impudent."

In recent days, both sides have said that the 12 June Trump-Kim summit could be delayed or even called off.

Pyongyang has insisted it would not give up nuclear weapons unilaterally, however, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that it was the North that had to meet the conditions for the talks to go ahead.

Choe took particular issue with Pence's remarks about US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who said the US would look to the negotiations with Libya during the early 2000s when dealing with North Korea.

"There was some talk about the Libya model," Pence told Fox News' Martha MacCallum. "As the President made clear, this will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal."

She called him a "political dummy" for comparing North Korea "a nuclear weapon state, to Libya that had simply installed a few items of equipment and fiddled around with them".

"As a person involved in the US affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president," she said.

Choe said Pyongyang was "not begging for talks" and warned: "Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behaviour of the United States."

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