Cape Times

Warning from North as US aims for talks


A TOP North Korean official warned the US yesterday not to misinterpr­et comments by her leader, saying doing so would end in disappoint­ment, as a US envoy aiming to get talks with the North back on track met South Korea’s president.

Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in North Korea’s ruling party and sister of leader Kim Jong-un, released a statement in state media saying the US appeared to be interpreti­ng signals from North Korea the “wrong way”.

She was responding to US National Security adviser Jake Sullivan, who on Sunday said he saw an “interestin­g signal” in a recent speech by Kim Jong-un on preparing for both confrontat­ion and diplomacy with the US.

“It seems that the US may interpret the situation in such a way as to seek a comfort for itself,” she said in the statement, carried by the North’s KCNA state news agency.

“The expectatio­n, which they chose to harbour the wrong way, would plunge them into a greater disappoint­ment.”

North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme has been a seemingly intractabl­e problem for the US for years.

President Joe Biden’s administra­tion has conducted a review of North Korea’s policy that concluded that the US would seek to find “calibrated and practical” ways of inducing it to give up its nuclear weapons.

Kim’s warning came as the recently appointed US special representa­tive for North Korea, Sung Kim, was visiting South Korea to meet senior officials, including President Moon Jae-in.

Moon told the US envoy he would do his best to get inter-Korean and US-North Korea relations back on track during the remainder of his term in office, and expressed hope for progress toward denucleari­sation and peace on the Korean peninsula, presidenti­al spokespers­on Park Kyung-mee said.

Sung Kim reaffirmed Biden’s support for meaningful inter-Korean dialogue and engagement, and said he would “do his best for resumption of US-North Korea talks”, Park said.

On Monday, Sung Kim said he was willing to meet the North Koreans “anywhere, any time without preconditi­ons”, and that he looked forward to a “positive response soon”.

In a sign being seen in South Korea as a positive US gesture, the two allies also discussed scrapping a joint “working group” that analysts say South Korea has seen as an irritant in their relations.

The Moon administra­tion has made building ties with the North a top priority.

 ??  ?? North Korean seniour leader Kim Yo
North Korean seniour leader Kim Yo

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