SEOUL: North Korea hit out at US Vice President Mike Pence today, calling him "ignorant and stupid" as the reclusive state made a renewed threat to cancel an upcoming summit between the two countries.
Choe Son Hui, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, released a statement via the state-run KCNA news agency lambasting a recent media interview Pence gave to Fox News.
"I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice-president," she said in the statement.
In his Monday interview with Fox, Pence warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that it would be a "great mistake" to try and play Washington ahead of a planned summit with President Donald Trump next month in Singapore.
He also said North Korea could end up like Libya, whose former leader Moamer Khadafi was killed in an uprising years after giving up atomic weapons, "if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal".
Choe responded to that interview with an angrily worded statement in which she slammed the "unbridled and impudent remarks" from Pence, adding Pyongyang would not be forced to the table by threats from Washington's leadership.
"We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us," she said.
"In case the US offends against our goodwill and clings to unlawful and outrageous acts, I will put forward a suggestion to our supreme leadership for reconsidering the DPRK-U.S. summit," she added, using the initials of North Korea's official name.