Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, said in a statement Tuesday that the US has misunderstood recent indications that Pyongyang is open to talks.
Kim Jong Un said last week at a plenary session of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea that North Korea must be “prepared for both dialogue and confrontation” with the United States, a remark that US national security adviser Jake Sullivan described as a “interesting signal” during an ABC News interview on Sunday.
In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yo Jong said she had heard about Sullivan’s remarks.
“A Korean proverb says that ‘In a dream, what counts most is to read it, not to have it,'” she said. “It seems that the U.S. 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,” she added.
Her remarks came as U.S. special envoy to North Korea, Sung Kim, continues a five-day trip to Seoul, which began on Saturday.
On Monday, the diplomat said Biden administration officials were willing to meet with Pyongyang’s negotiators “anywhere, anytime without preconditions.”
The administration has said it will take a “calibrated and practical approach” toward North Korea “that is open to and will explore diplomacy.”
Nuclear negotiations with North Korea have been stalled since a February 2019 summit between then-U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un failed to produce an agreement.
North Korea has sought concessions like as the lifting of international sanctions in exchange for taking measures towards reducing its nuclear weapons, but the US had insisted on total disarmament first.
President Joe Biden renewed sanctions on Pyongyang for another year on Monday, extending an executive order signed by then-President George W. Bush in 2008 that declared the North Korean threat a national emergency.
“The existence and risk of the proliferation of weapons‑usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” Biden wrote in a letter to Congress.