Kim Jong Un promises to be ready to face the United States

Kim recently threatened to build high-tech weapons targeting the Americas if Washington’s policy towards North Korea does not change.

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his government to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with the Biden administration – but no longer the confrontation – media reported on Friday. State, days after the United States and others urged the North to abandon its nuclear program and resume talks.

Kim’s statement indicates he will likely push to bolster its nuclear arsenal and increase pressure on Washington to renounce what North Korea sees as hostile policy towards the North, although it is also preparing. the resumption of talks, according to some experts.

During a ruling party meeting on Thursday, Kim analyzed in detail the political tendencies of the United States under President Joe Biden and clarified the steps to be taken in relations with Washington, the central news agency said. Korean. He did not specify the steps.

Kim “stressed the need to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation, in particular to fully prepare for the confrontation in order to protect the dignity of our state” and to ensure national security, he said. declared.

In 2018-19, Kim hosted a series of summits with then-President Donald Trump to discuss the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. But negotiations collapsed after Trump rejected Kim’s calls for extensive sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of his nuclear capacity.

The Biden administration has struggled to formulate a new approach to North Korea’s nuclear program that it calls “calibrated and practical.” Details of his North Korean policy have not been made public, but US officials have suggested Biden would seek common ground between Trump’s direct meetings with Kim and former President Barack’s “strategic patience” Obama to curb Kim’s nuclear program.

Earlier this week, leaders of the Group of Seven Rich Nations issued a statement calling for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the “verifiable and irreversible abandonment” of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. They called on North Korea to initiate and resume dialogue.

Sung Kim, the top US official on North Korea, is due to travel to Seoul on Saturday for a trilateral meeting with South Korean and Japanese officials. His trip underscores the importance of a three-way cooperation to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the State Department said.

Kim Jong Un recently threatened to expand its nuclear arsenal and manufacture high-tech weapons targeting the Americas if Washington refuses to abandon its hostile policy towards North Korea.

In March, Kim’s army conducted its first short-range ballistic missile tests in a year. But North Korea still maintains a moratorium on long-range missile testing and nuclear testing, indicating that Kim still wants to maintain the diplomatic outlook.

Kwak Gil Sup, director of One Korea Center, a website specializing in North Korean affairs, wrote on Facebook that Kim’s statement suggested he was taking a two-pronged approach to building military capabilities and preparing to the talks. But he said Kim would more likely focus on building military strength and reiterated his call for the United States to withdraw its hostile policy, rather than rushing back to talks.

Kim said last week that the North Korean military must remain on high alert to defend national security.

Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang of the Sejong Private Institute in South Korea said North Korea would likely resume talks but not accept a call for immediate and complete denuclearization. He said North Korea could accede to a proposal to freeze its atomic program and partially reduce its nuclear arsenal in stages if the Biden administration eases sanctions and suspends regular military exercises with South Korea.

Cha Duck Chul, deputy spokesperson for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said he was closely monitoring the ongoing political meeting with the North and wanted to stress again that the best way to achieve peace in the Korean Peninsula is dialogue.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijiang called for a resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States, saying that “we believe that the situation on the Korean peninsula is facing a new cycle of tension ”.

Kim called the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee meeting this week to review efforts to rebuild the economy, which has been severely crippled by border closures in the event of a pandemic, mismanagement amid US-led sanctions and storm damage to crops and infrastructure last year.

On Tuesday, Kim opened the meeting by warning of possible food shortages, urging officials to find ways to boost agricultural production as the country’s food situation “now becomes tense.” He also urged the country to prepare for extended COVID-19 restrictions, suggesting that North Korea would extend the closure of its border and other measures despite pressure on its economy.

Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.

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