North Korean first vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui on Saturday condemned U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton for recent comments regarding prospects for a third meeting between President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
In an answer to a question from a KCNA reporter, the high-ranking diplomat reportedly responded to Bolton’s Wednesday remarks that the DPRK would need to make a “real indication” of willingness to denuclearize before a third summit takes place and that the U.S. expected a “Big Deal” to emerge from that meeting.
“As it was before, we have never expected that adviser Bolton would ever make a reasonable remark,” Choe reportedly said, accusing the National Security Advisor of misunderstanding the state of diplomacy between the two countries.
“If he is a White House national security adviser, he should at least have understood about what kinds of substantive communications are made between the top leaders concerning the 3rd round of summit before he had ever opened his mouth,” she continued, saying “his word has no charm in it and he looks dim-sighted to me.”
Choe’s comments come as both the U.S. and North Korea appear increasingly open to a third summit between the two countries’ leaders — and displeasure among DPRK officials on how some in the Trump administration have framed prospects for that meeting.
Thursday, notably, saw director general of the foreign ministry’s Department of American Affairs Kwon Jong Gun urge President Trump to remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as his top nuclear negotiator.
Accusing Pompeo of “self-indulgence” and “reckless remarks,” Kwon warned that Pyongyang would be reluctant to engage in dialogue with the U.S. should they be led by the Secretary of State.
Pompeo on Friday rebuffed the comments, stressing that he will continue to lead DPRK negotiations.
Choe’s comments today echoed her colleague’s remarks, urging U.S. officials to use more considered language when discussing diplomacy.
“In this remark of Bolton, I can hardly find the tact and logic of the American style so common in American lingo,” she said. “I warn you that it would do yourself no good if you continue to throw away such remarks devoid of discretion and reason.”
It is also not the first time in recent months that high-ranking North Korean officials have sought to decouple President Trump from what are seen as his more hardline advisors.
Vice minister Choe in March accused Bolton and Pompeo of creating an “obstacle” which had led to the failure of the Hanoi summit to secure a deal, saying the two had “uttered rude words” which went “counter to the President’s intention.”
Featured image: Kremlin