The new US envoy to North Korea is ready to negotiate “anytime, anywhere and without preconditions” with Kim Jong-un’s regime representatives.
Talks about the isolated dictatorship’s nuclear weapons program have been stalled for some time. Kim said last week that preparations must be made for both “dialogue and confrontation” with Washington.
That ruling had already been described in Washington as an “interesting signal”, but new negotiations have not yet started. A few years ago, the North Koreans caused major international unrest with nuclear tests, a missile program, and war rhetoric. North Korea repeatedly tested missiles powerful enough to reach parts of the US in 2017.
Leader Kim then stopped such a display of power from giving diplomacy a chance. He wants to get rid of the heavy international sanctions that have been imposed against his country, which is struggling with major economic problems. Former US President Donald Trump met with Kim on several occasions, but no final agreement on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament was reached.
The administration of new President Joe Biden has already announced a “practical approach” to the headache file. US envoy Sung Kim is currently visiting South Korea and is consulting with regional allies, including Japan. The diplomat said he hoped for a “positive response” from Pyongyang to the US overtures. He would like to talk to the North Koreans.
Kim Jong-un admitted last week that North Korea is experiencing food supply problems. Some analysts then suggested in international media that Pyongyang may show more willingness to re-enter dialogue now that it can use foreign aid.