North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country needs to prepare for “both dialogue and confrontation” with the United States under Joe Biden, state media reported Friday.
At a meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party on Thursday, Kim outlined his strategy for relations with Washington and the “political trend of the new emerging US administration,” the Korean Central News Agency said.
Kim “emphasized the need to be prepared for both dialogue and confrontation, especially to be fully prepared for confrontation in order to protect the dignity of our state” and reliably guarantee a “peaceful environment,” KCNA reported.
The North Korean leader “called for reacting quickly and quickly and dealing with the rapidly changing situation and concentrating efforts on taking stable control of the situation on the Korean peninsula,” the agency said.
Pyongyang had already accused Biden of pursuing a “hostile policy” and said it was a “big mistake” for the Democrat to say that he would deal with the threat posed by the North’s nuclear program “through diplomacy and severe deterrence.”
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, made headlines, but with little diplomatic progress, with a series of face-to-face meetings with Kim, a policy Biden says he will not follow unless the terms change drastically.
During a visit to Washington last month by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Biden said he “will not meet” with Kim unless there is a concrete plan to negotiate on Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.
And he clearly criticized Trump’s friendly relationship with Kim, saying he “would not do what had been done in the recent past. I would not give him everything he is looking for: international recognition ”.
The White House says it is now pursuing “a calibrated practical approach” – diplomatic jargon, apparently, for being low-key realist, as well as open-minded.
“We understand where previous efforts in the past ran into difficulties and have tried to learn from them,” said a senior White House official.
On Tuesday, Kim opened the central committee meeting by warning of a possible food shortage and urging officials to find ways to boost agricultural production because the country’s food situation “is now becoming tense.”
He also urged the country to prepare for extended Covid-19 restrictions, suggesting that North Korea will extend its border closure and other steps despite stress on its economy.