White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday (June 20) called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s comments about being prepared for both “dialogue” and “confrontation” with the U.S. “an interesting signal.
At a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party last Thursday (June 17), Kim Jong Un outlined his strategy for relations with Washington and analyzed Washington’s policy moves toward North Korea, saying the North “should be prepared for both dialogue and confrontation (with the U.S.), especially to be fully prepared for confrontation in order to defend national dignity, interests and independent development. “
This is the first time since Biden took office that Kim Jong Un has sent a message to the United States.
In response, Sullivan said in an interview with ABC on Sunday that the White House will wait and see if the other side will take a step forward on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
We’re waiting for a clear signal from Pyongyang as to whether they’re prepared to sit down at the table and start working in that direction,” Sullivan said. His (Kim Jong Un’s) comments this week, we think, are an interesting signal. We’ll wait and see if they are interested in any more direct communication with us on a potential path forward.”
Sullivan said President Biden wants to engage in principled talks with North Korea to achieve the White House’s ultimate goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“The clear signal they can send says, yes, let’s do it. Let’s sit down and start negotiating.” Sullivan said, “We believe that in the case of the Iranian nuclear issue, in the case of the North Korean nuclear issue, there is no (alternative) to diplomacy to begin to make progress toward the ultimate goal – the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”