The official Korean Central News Agency released a statement from Kim Yo Jong on Tuesday about two hours before Sung Kim, the US special representative for North Korea, was due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul to talk about reviving dormant disarmament negotiations with North Korea. Pyongyang has a habit of timing its actions and statements to high-level political events.
“It seems that the US may interpret the situation in such a way as to seek a comfort for itself. The expectation, which they chose to harbor the wrong way, would plunge them into a greater disappointment,” KCNA quoted her as saying in a statement that came in at about 100 words.
Kim Yo Jong, a member of the country’s ruling family who has become one of the most prominent faces in its pressure campaign against the US and South Korea, said she was referring to comments made by a US national security adviser who saw “an “interesting signal,” from a major ruling party meeting last week.
At the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of his ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, leader Kim Jong Un said North Korea is ready for “both dialogue and confrontation,” with the US, making the highest-level suggestion of talks since Biden replaced Donald Trump, who met Kim three times.
Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, said in a weekend interview with George Stephanopoulos: “We are awaiting a clear signal from Pyongyang as to whether they are prepared to sit down at the table to begin working in that direction. His comments this week we regard as an interesting signal.”
Sung Kim said after discussions Monday in Seoul with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts that the Biden administration’s policy called for “a calibrated, practical approach,” which includes possible diplomacy with North Korea.
“We continue to hope that the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach and our offer to meet anywhere, anytime, without preconditions,” Sung Kim said, referring to North Korea by its formal name.
The Biden administration has indicated it could be willing to look at an incremental approach where it gives targeted rewards in return for disarmament steps.
Kim Yo Jong also included in her statement a Korean proverb, which goes as: “In a dream, what counts most is to read it, not to have it.”