Monday, June 21, 2021
“Anytime, without preconditions”
USA open to meeting with North Korea
“Dialogue and confrontation” with the USA – North Korea is ready for both, according to the latest statements from ruler Kim Jong Un. This also applies to the United States, countered the US special adviser and at the same time offered a low-threshold conversation.
In the dispute over the North Korean nuclear weapons program, the US is offering the largely isolated country talks without any preconditions. Washington continues to hope that Pyongyang will respond positively to “our offer to meet us anywhere, anytime, without any preconditions,” said US special envoy Sung Kim in the South Korean capital, Seoul. There he conferred with the chief negotiators of South Korea and Japan, Noh Kyu Duk and Takehiro Funakoshi.
Since the change of power in Washington, Pyongyang has been acting on hold. US officials described the American approach under the current President Joe Biden as a “graduated practical approach” to find a negotiated solution. Details have not yet been disclosed. The negotiations between the two countries have not made any progress since a failed summit in Vietnam in 2019 – at that time with Donald Trump as US President.
North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un said at a meeting of the ruling Labor Party last week that his government must be prepared for “dialogue and confrontation” with the US. In South Korea this was understood as a sign of readiness for dialogue – but also as an indirect call to create concrete incentives for negotiations.
Implementation of the sanctions required
Alluding to Kim Jong Uns ’statements, Biden’s North Korea representative said the US was also prepared for both. “Hopefully, Chairman Kim’s reference to the dialogue suggests that we will soon have a positive response.” The USA continued to implement the UN Security Council’s sanctions against North Korea. “We will also urge all UN member states, particularly members of the UN Security Council, to do the same to counter the threat posed by the People’s Republic (North Korea) to the international community.”
North Korea’s rulers had in recent years relied on rapprochement with then US President Donald Trump in order to have sanctions lifted. Both leaders met three times in person. However, the last summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi in February 2019 failed. Since then, the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang to dismantle the North Korean nuclear program have been on hold. Biden said in May that he was not planning a face-to-face meeting with Kim as long as it was not about concrete negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
The impoverished country is currently threatened by food shortages. Ruler Kim called the situation “tense” on Sunday. According to reports from the state broadcaster KCTV, he discussed “emergency measures” with senior officials. Officially, there have been no corona infections in North Korea so far, but experts doubt the information from Pyongyang. The additional isolation to protect against the pandemic hit the economy of the isolated country and especially trade with China hard.