SEOUL — Pyongyang, calling a senior American official “human scum” for criticizing North Korea’s leader, banned him from U.S.-proposed multilateral talks on its suspected development of nuclear weapons.
North Korea said that it won’t deal with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton because he described communist leader Kim Jong Il as a “tyrannical dictator” and said “life is a hellish nightmare” for many North Koreans.
Mr. Bolton made the remarks during a visit to South Korea last week.
“Such human scum and bloodsucker is not entitled to take part in the talks,” said a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman, according to the North’s official KCNA news agency.
“We have decided not to consider him as an official of the U.S. administration any longer nor to deal with him,” the unidentified spokesman said.
He said, however, that there was no change in Pyongyang’s decision to hold six-country talks on the nuclear issue.
The countries involved are expected to be North Korea, the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.
The United States said yesterday it was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff and was not trying to end Mr. Kim’s rule.
In an interview with selected U.S. media outlets, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said the six-way talks can allay the North’s fears of a U.S. invasion.
“Our policy, the president’s policy, is to work diplomatically with our partners and the North Koreans to find a diplomatic political solution,” Mr. Powell said in the interview, made public yesterday.
Mr. Powell was asked about a previous comment by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz that Mr. Kim’s administration was “teetering on the edge of economic collapse.” Mr. Wolfowitz said that could be used as “a major point of leverage” against Mr. Kim.
“I don’t have a basis for saying there is an imminent collapse,” Mr. Powell said.
“Right now there is a government there. It’s been there for a lot of decades, and that’s what I have to deal with,” Mr. Powell said. “What the situation would be following a catastrophic collapse, I don’t really know. I don’t think it’s anything that any of North Korea’s neighbors at the moment wish to see.”
Mr. Powell said the pending talks could lead to more U.S. help for “the people of North Korea.” But he denied that the Bush administration used aid for the impoverished state to lure Mr. Kim into accepting the multilateral format.View Entire Story
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
We welcome you to the intimate and personal thoughts on the news and events we, as editors, watch, read, and discuss with our writers every day.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall