Tuesday June 22, 2021
Nuclear talks with North Korea
Kim’s sister dampens US hopes
Last week, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un announced that his country was preparing for “dialogue and confrontation” with the United States. Abroad, the statement is interpreted as a readiness for talks. But Kim’s sister rejects hopes of early negotiations.
The influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un has dismissed hopes of an early resumption of talks on her country’s nuclear weapons program as a US dream. Kim Yo Jong accused the United States of harboring false expectations. That would only plunge her “into greater disappointment,” the state media quoted the functionary of the Labor Party ruling in North Korea as saying.
She was referring to statements made by US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, who had recently spoken of an “interesting signal” from Pyongyang. Kim Jong Un said at a party meeting last week that his government had to prepare for “dialogue and confrontation” with the US. In South Korea this was understood as a sign of its willingness to enter into dialogue – but also as an indirect call to create concrete incentives for negotiations.
With her statement, however, Kim Yo Jong dampened corresponding hopes. A Korean saying goes, “How a dream is interpreted matters more than having it,” she reportedly said. The US seemed to interpret the situation in such a way as to comfort itself.
In South Korea, the US special envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, continued his talks on how to proceed in the nuclear dispute. On Monday, he had offered the largely isolated leadership in Pyongyang talks without any preconditions. He hope for a positive answer. At the same time, he emphasized that the USA would continue to implement the UN sanctions against North Korea. 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.