It's the second time Pyongyang criticized a leading U.S. official in less than a week
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has criticized U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's "nonsense" call for Pyongyang to show that it's serious about giving up its nuclear weapons, the second time it has criticized a leading U.S. official in less than a week.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is open to a third summit with DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un, but Bolton told Bloomberg News on Wednesday there first needed to be "a real indication from North Korea (DPRK) that they've made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons", Reuters reported.
"Bolton, national security adviser of the White House, in an interview with Bloomberg, showed above himself by saying such a nonsense," DPRK Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui told reporters when asked about his recent comments, the DPRK's state media Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday.
"Bolton's remarks make me wonder whether they sprang out of incomprehension of the intentions of the top leaders of the DPRK and the United States or whether he was just trying to talk with a certain sense of humor for his part, with its own deviation," she said.
"All things considered, his word has no charm in it and he looks dimsighted to me."
The DPRK vice-minister also warned that there would be no good if the U.S. continued "to throw away such remarks devoid of discretion and reason".
DPRK said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down.
Korean Central News Agency also reported on Thursday that Kim supervised the test-firing of a new tactical guided weapon on Wednesday. Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers Jr. confirmed on Thursday that the tactical-level weapons test posed no threat to the U.S. and regional allies.
In response to DPRK's move, Pompeo said on Friday the U.S. will continue to work to negotiate with the DPRK to achieve the denuclearization and swept aside Pyongyang's demand about replacing him by someone "more careful and mature" to deal with the talks, Xinhua News Agency reported.
"I'm convinced we still have a real opportunity to achieve that outcome (the denuclearization), and our diplomatic team will continue to remain in the lead," he said. "Nothing's changed. We're continuing to work to negotiate. I'm still in charge of the team."
On Thursday, the Kremlin said that Kim will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin before the end of April, to discuss bilateral relations, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and regional cooperation.
"There is no doubt that Russia will be ready to do everything to promote the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to the best of its abilities," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.