On Wednesday, North Korea’s foreign ministry stated that his country does not consider resuming stalled talks with the United States. This contradicts U.S. officials and South Korean officials who hoped for a rapid resumption.
Ri Son Gwon’s statement came just days after Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister sent a message stating that U.S. expectations for talks would “plunge” them into greater disappointment.
The hope of a restarting the nuclear talks was briefly sparked by Kim Jong Un’s instruction to officials at a conference last week to be ready for dialogue and confrontation, but more for confrontation, with the Biden administration. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan described Kim’s remarks as an “interesting signal.”
Ri was very happy with the Kim Yo Jong statement. He said it brushed aside the “hasty judgement, conjecture, and expectation of America.”
Ri stated that they aren’t considering any contact with the U.S. and even having it. This would only take up precious time, Ri stated in a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency.
Since the 2019 collapse of a meeting between Kim Jong Un, former President Donald Trump and Seoul, nuclear negotiations between Washington and Seoul are stalled. This is due to a dispute over the lifting of U.S.-led sanctions on economics in return for North Korea’s partial denuclearization.
Although U.S. officials and South Korean officials were optimistic about Kim’s comments that he expects dialogue and confrontation, experts believe that North Korea has been sending the same message for months. They are stating that they have no intention of returning to negotiations unless the United States makes meaningful concessions, most likely through eased sanctions.
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Sung Kim, President Joe Biden’s special representative for North Korea said that Washington was ready to meet the North “anywhere and anytime without preconditions”. He visited Seoul for talks with Japanese officials about the nuclear standoff. He stressed however that the Biden administration would continue its pressure on North Korea by imposing sanctions for its missile and nuclear ambitions.
Following a meeting of the North Korean ruling parties last week, Kim Jong Un demanded that more effort be made to improve the nation’s economy. The country is currently facing increasing food shortages and border closures due to pandemics.