Days after Kim Jong-un’s high-profile speech, the sister of the North Korean dictator, Ki Jo-jung, also appeared on the scene. As before, the 33-year-old sister has re-emerged as the bad cop. Kim Jo Jong sent a message to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan after the US official gave an interview to Australia’s ABC News. Turning to North Korea, Sullivan spoke of North Korea’s willingness to negotiate denuclearization with the United States. At least that’s what he said is the fact that in his speech last week, the owner of the juice said that Pyongyang was ready for both confrontation and dialogue.
This was followed by a cold shower, as Kim Jo Jong said in an official statement on Tuesday:
The United States seems to be interpreting the situation the way it wants to hear it. Their expectations lead them to even greater disappointment.
The reaction could have been especially painful after the Joe Biden government made a serious gesture toward North Korea. Chung Kim, Washington’s special envoy to North Korea, on Monday also discussed the suspension of the Seoul-run inter-Korean bilateral council that was set up under Trump. The body, which was set up in 2018, sparked a major protest in Pyongyang. This is because the initiative of Republican President Donald Trump was formed as a coordinating organization for US and South Korean policy on Pyongyang, and in practice Washington significantly expanded its influence on Seoul policy. The bilateral body discussed measures to disarm North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, as well as coordinate aid shipments to North Korea.
Speaking about Washington’s unleashing of South Korea’s more lenient side on its northern neighbor, Washington’s envoy, Sung Kim, said he was happy to talk to his North Korean counterparts at any time, adding that he trusted a positive reception as soon as possible.
Kim Jo Jong’s disappointing announcement came just a day after that. The North Korean turn of the Biden government, which has embarked on a large-scale diplomatic process, may have been linked to recent news from the Stalinist hermit state.
According to reports, Kim Jong-un also spoke last week about the food crisis in her country. No coronavirus has been officially registered in North Korea, which was due to strict bribery in the country. However, Pyongyang has also closed the commercially important Chinese border, preventing international aid shipments from reaching their destination. Analysts say that all this contributed greatly to the release of food prices, and thus the issue of starvation became on the agenda at the highest political level as well. However, for international organizations, for Western countries, such as the United States, that provide aid supplies, this always promises diplomatic opportunities.
When he came to power in 2011, Kim Jong-un himself promised his people that they would never have to tighten their belts again, meaning he could abandon Pyongyang’s stubbornness to avoid starvation. However, there was no indication of that in Kim Jo Jong’s message.
According to press reports, Washington is waiting anyway, leaving South Korea in a soft squeeze. But for now, there is still room for improvement in the relationship between Pyongyang and Seoul. The relationship between the two Koreas became hostile when the North blew up a liaison office along the border as an unmistakable message. After that, the coronavirus pandemic provided a basis for the resumption of dialogue. On the one hand, citing the epidemic, the United States and its allies have drastically reduced the size of military exercises directed at North Korea every year, and on the other hand, Seoul has offered to help deal with the coronavirus situation.
This is a lucky star for Pyongyang, and they are trying to make the most of it. Although former US President Donald Trump successfully prevented North Korea from launching test missiles, they did not stop their program to develop weapons of mass destruction. During the pandemic, they developed their own submarines as well as ballistic missile technology capable of carrying multiple warheads. This could also be the basis for negotiating soft transitions around the Biden government, especially since Trump was also envisioning severe international sanctions reductions in the event of partial disarmament.
However, the patience of the United States or South Korea will not last forever.
The term of the Moon-Jin-in government, which is particularly lenient with the northern state of Latour, expires in March 2022, and Washington, which has been faltering domestically for years, won’t rein in Seoul’s hard-line government. Therefore, the role of China may be particularly important in the coming period. It is no coincidence that the Biden government has also called on Beijing to play a more decisive role in regulating Pyongyang. As an Analyst at The Diplomat, a specialist portal She said: North Korea is actually enough to negotiate with China, and the United States is forced to get Beijing, which is holding a Stalinist hermit state on a ventilator, in the game anyway. North Korea continues to make the bulk of its foreign trade with China, which Beijing feels, albeit cautiously, with stakeholders in the region.
That’s what the time has been talking about these days magazine A senior American general, and former commander of a 600,000-strong military unit stationed in South Korea. Vincent K. Brooks noted that in the days leading up to the face-to-face meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, Xi Shing also met with the North Korean leader. The two Asian countries reached an astonishing streak of talks before the US talks, and China recently signaled a similar move to the Biden government. According to the interview, Xi Xing appointed a new special envoy for Korean affairs in April. The veteran chief diplomat Liu Xiaoming now holds a position that has been vacant for two years. The American general drew attention to an interesting side thread in this regard. While Beijing aims to control, albeit discreetly, the development of US-North Korea relations, Pyongyang will refrain from outright surrender. At present, according to Brooks, the North Korean economy is 90% dependent on China. North Korea’s economic policy aims to significantly reduce Chinese influence in the near future.
(Cover photo: Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Jo-jung in Hanoi, Vietnam on March 2, 2019. Photo: Jorge Silva/Paul/Bloomberg/Getty Images)