The North Korean leader underscores the readiness to respond to the U.S. in his first direct statement since Joe Biden was president.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said his country needs to prepare for “dialogue and confrontation” with the United States under President Joe Biden, state media reported Friday.
In one plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling ruling Korean Workers’ Party On Thursday, Kim outlined his strategy for relations with Washington and the “political trend of the newly emerged U.S. administration,” the Korea Central News Agency said.
The comments mark the first time Kim has made a reference to the country’s policy toward the U.S. since the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.
Kim “stressed the need to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation, especially to fully prepare for confrontation to protect the dignity of our state” and to reliably ensure a “peaceful environment.” inform KCNA.
The North Korean leader “called for a swift and swift reaction to the rapidly changing situation and to face it and concentrate efforts on taking stable control of the situation on the Korean peninsula,” the agency said.
Pyongyang had already accused Biden of pursuing a “hostile policy” and saying it was a “big mistake” for the veteran Democrat to say he would address the threat posed by the North’s nuclear program “through diplomacy and severe deterrence.”
In 2019, the North said Biden should be “beaten with a stick.”
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, reached the headlines – but little diplomatic progress – with a series of face-to-face meetings with Kim, an approach that Biden has said will not continue unless the terms change drastically.
During a visit to Washington last month by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Biden said he would “not meet” with Kim unless there was a concrete plan to negotiate Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.
And he made a clear critique of Trump’s bad relationship with Kim, saying he “wouldn’t do what he had been doing in the recent past. He wouldn’t give him everything he was looking for: international recognition.”
The White House said it now pursues a “calibrated practical approach,” apparently keeping realistic expectations low, while keeping an open mind.
“We understand where previous efforts have struggled in the past and we have tried to learn from them,” a senior White House official said.
North Korea has conducted six atomic bomb tests since 2006 and is subject to multiple sets of international sanctions for its banned weapons programs.
A U.S. intelligence report released in April said North Korea could resume nuclear testing this year as a way to force the Biden administration back to the negotiating table.
Kim “can take various aggressive and potentially destabilizing actions to reshape the regional security environment and drive wedges between the United States and its allies, until the resumption of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing,” including the Office. of the director of National Intelligence said.
Kim’s message also came when the new U.S. Special Representative to North Korea, Sung Kim, will arrive in Seoul on Saturday for trilateral talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.
The trip “emphasizes the fundamental importance of US-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation to work for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, protect our shared security and prosperity, maintain common values and strengthen rule-based order.” , the State Department said in a media note.
Despite the Pyongyang’s acute rhetoric, according to observers, it is possible that Kim is also sending a signal to the US that he is willing to talk.
“The North seems to have decided the direction towards resuming talks with the United States in a broad framework, although it is likely to discuss with China the timing and scope,” said Yang Moo-jin, a professor. from North Korea University of Studies, Yonhap said.