U.S. authorities on Sunday described as an “interesting signal” North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s statement about the Biden administration that he was ready for “dialogue and confrontation” with the Biden administration, Kim said at the third plenary session of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. “.
In response to Kim Jong Un’s statement, U.S. National Security Advisor Sullivan told ABC News on Sunday, “We think it’s an interesting signal, and we look forward to more direct communication from the other side in whatever form it takes.
What is the more direct signal that Sullivan said the U.S. expects from North Korea? “The clearest signal from North Korea to us should probably be, ‘OK, let’s sit down and start negotiating,'” he explained.
Kim Jong Un’s speech asking his government to be ready for “dialogue and confrontation” with the U.S. was made at the third plenary session of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, it was noted. The timing of the speech coincides with the first visit to Seoul by the new U.S. envoy to North Korea, Sung Kim.
Kim is expected to meet with South Korean and Japanese officials in charge of North Korean affairs on June 23.
The most striking aspect of the North Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee meeting was Kim Jong-un’s rare public acknowledgement of the severe food shortage. He said that grasping agricultural production is currently the “most important and priority task of the Party and the State of the DPRK to solve, and it is urgent that the whole Party and the whole country make efforts to ensure food production”.
The death toll of the famine that broke out in North Korea in the 1990s has been kept secret, but some reports say that the death toll is around three million. How serious is the famine in North Korea this time? First of all, Kim Jong-un himself publicly admitted the serious food shortage, which is a major signal, and secondly, in early June, North Korean officials had called on young people to go to the front line of overcoming economic difficulties. The KCNA news agency reported that North Korea has arranged for upwards of 14,000 full-time housewives from the city to go to the countryside to work on farms where rice is produced. full-time housewives over the age of 30 are obliged to join the farming support.
Is Kim Jong-un’s dual signal to the U.S. that he is ready for dialogue or confrontation related to the economic difficulties North Korea is currently facing? Is this a way to ease the atmosphere and thus ease international sanctions? It remains to be seen.