Donald Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday that he will lose “everything” if he acts in a “hostile” manner, a statement that comes shortly after Pionyang announced it had conducted a test related to its missile program.
“Kim Jong-un is too smart and has too much to lose, all in reality, if he acts hostile,” Trump said on Twitter.
The president also reminded Kim that in June 2018, in Singapore, both signed a joint declaration in which they pledged to work for the “complete” denuclearization of the peninsula; and asked him not to violate that pact, since that would harm his country economically.
“(Kim) He signed a strong denuclearization agreement with me in Singapore. He (Kim) does not want to nullify the special relationship he has with the U.S. president or interfere in the November presidential elections,” said Trump, who is running for re-election in November 2020.
“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, has enormous economic potential, but must be denuclearized as promised. NATO, China, Russia, Japan and the whole world are united on this issue,” he added.
On other occasions, in the face of North Korea’s provocations, the U.S. president has used the same strategy: praise for Kim, whom he now describes as “clever”, and value the relationship between the two, while at the same time downplaying the importance of North Korean military tests.
The test announced this Sunday by the North Korean regime took place in the satellite launch facilities of Sohae, in the northwest of the country and are linked to the North Korean missile program, according to a brief statement issued by the state news agency KCNA.
The test came after the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, said on Saturday that his country has withdrawn the denuclearization of the negotiating agenda with Washington, which sows more uncertainty in the dialogue, which has been stalled for months.
The North Korean diplomat expressed Pionyang’s frustration with the negotiations in a communiqué in which he considered that Washington is using the dialogue as “a trick to gain time” in order to advance its “domestic political agenda”.
From the White House, Trump already on Saturday downplayed North Korea’s announcement and said he would be surprised if Pionyang “acts aggressively”.
North Korea and the U.S. experienced a sweet moment in their bilateral relations last year, but they are going through a phase of renewed friction and in recent days have raised the belligerence of their verbal exchanges.