The US has a simple choice, according to Pyongyang: Meet North Korea at the negotiating table, or in a "nuclear-to-nuclear showdown." Senior North Korean official Choe Son Hui put the planned June 12 summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in even more doubt Thursday with a blistering statement that warned Pyongyang wouldn't "beg" for dialogue and called Mike Pence a "political dummy," the Wall Street Journal reports. Choe, the North's vice minister of foreign affairs, slammed Pence for comparing North Korea to Libya in the context of denuclearization. "I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president," she said.
Choe—who warned that Pyongyang could make the US "taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined"—was responding to Pence's comment to Fox News earlier this week, in which he said the Clinton and Obama administrations had been "played" by North Korea and it would be a mistake for the Koreans to think they could do the same to Trump, the AP reports. The BBC notes that Choe is one of Kim's top aides and her statements will have been sanctioned by the leader. Trump said Tuesday that the summit "may not work out" for June 12, but he sounded more optimistic Wednesday, before Choe's remarks were released. "Right now we're looking at it, we're talking about it, and they’re talking to us," he told Fox. "We have certain conditions. We'll see what happens. But there's a good chance." (Read more North Korea stories.)