Kim and Jung lead new North Korean agency to collect intelligence and prepare for dialogue with U.S.

After taking office, U.S. President Joe Biden has repeatedly approached North Korea through different channels without success. Daily NK, a South Korean news website run by defectors, reported Friday (14) that North Korea’s Foreign Ministry recently set up a new organization to collect and analyze U.S. policy and public opinion on North Korea, and prepare to resume dialogue with the U.S., led by Kim Yo-jung, the sister of leader Kim Jong-un. Analysis suggests that North Korea may have excluded South Korea from seeking direct communication with the United States.

The report quoted a senior North Korean source as saying that the official name of the new organization has not been decided, and the establishment is 60 people. The main task is to collect U.S. media reports and develop a response strategy. In order to catch the U.S. news in real time, some staff members work from 5 p.m. Pyongyang time to 1 or 2 a.m. the next day, tracking the movements of the U.S. White House, State Department, Congress, political parties and other important institutions, and collecting and analyzing the opinions of columnists and readers of U.S. news websites.

However, the new organization is not led by the “American Tong”, North Korea’s first deputy foreign minister, Choi Sun-hee, but put in charge of Kim Woon-jung, meaning that she is responsible for foreign policy, including South Korea and the United States, all related intelligence and strategy is also managed by her.

The new organization is preparing to resume dialogue with the U.S., which may indicate that North Korea affirms the Biden administration’s policy toward North Korea, as Biden is unwilling to return to former President Obama’s “strategic patience” or Trump’s “grand bargain” strategy. “The North sees this as a positive sign.

South Korea’s defense ministry confirmed that the U.S.-South Korea joint defense consultation mechanism was held from Wednesday (12) to Thursday (13) in the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. The two sides agreed to hold joint military exercises and agreed to hold U.S.-Japan-South Korea defense ministers’ talks as soon as possible. In addition, the UN Security Council sanctions committee said China exported 4,893 barrels of refined oil products to North Korea in March for the first time in six months, totaling 587.4 tons.