Mr. Bolton has repeatedly referred to the so-called Libyan model. Mr. Trump last week disavowed Mr. Bolton’s remarks, but never referred to Libya’s voluntary disarmament in 2003. Instead, he discussed Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s demise at the hands of his own people less than a decade later in the upheavals that swept the Arab world, and suggested that if there was ultimately no agreement over the North’s nuclear program, its leaders could meet a similar fate.
Mr. Trump also opened the door on Tuesday to a phased dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, backing away from his previous demand that Mr. Kim completely abandon his arsenal without any reciprocal American concessions.
In her statement on Thursday, Ms. Choe accused Mr. Pence, another North Korea hard-liner in the Trump administration, of promoting a “military option” on North Korea and also pushing for a quick and unilateral nuclear disarmament of the country.
In his interview on Monday, Mr. Pence said, “You know, as the president made clear, this will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.”
When it was noted that the comparison could be interpreted as a threat, Mr. Pence replied, “Well, I think it’s more of a fact.”
Speaking on “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said of the prospect of a meeting: “We have certain conditions. We’ll see what happens. But there’s a good chance. I mean, it’d be a great thing for North Korea. If that happens, it would be a great thing for North Korea. Listen, it would be a great thing for the world, so we’ll see what happens.”
A White House spokesman declined to immediately comment on the latest remarks from Pyongyang.
In her statement on Thursday, Ms. Choe said, “Whether the U.S. 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.”