Kim Yo-jong says N. Korea will never sit down with US for dialogue

Posted on : 2023-12-01 17:19 KST Modified on : 2023-12-01 17:19 KST
The statement by the politically powerful sister of Kim Jong-un is being interpreted as a declaration of North Korea’s intent to continue developing missiles and nuclear weapons
Kim Yo-jong, the politically powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is seen speaking in Pyongyang in this photo released by state media. (KCNA/Yonhap)
Kim Yo-jong, the politically powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is seen speaking in Pyongyang in this photo released by state media. (KCNA/Yonhap)

Kim Yo-jong, the powerful younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said that “the sovereignty of an independent state can never be an agenda item for negotiations, and therefore, the DPRK will never sit face to face with the US for that purpose,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday.

The DPRK is the acronym for North Korea’s official name.

Kim said in a statement published by state media that she wanted to make this “clear” to the US after it “asked the DPRK to fix the time and agenda for resuming the DPRK-US dialogue.”

“The DPRK will continue to make efforts to develop everything belonging to its sovereign rights and continue to exercise the sovereign rights, enjoyed by all the member states of the UN, in a dignified manner without being restricted in the future, too,” said Kim, whose official title is vice department director of the Central Committee of the North’s ruling Workers Party of Korea.

Kim also strongly denounced “the open meeting of the [UN Security Council] over the DPRK’s reconnaissance satellite launch, convened at the gangster-like demand of the US and its followers.”

Kim’s remark about “the sovereignty of an independent state” not being open to negotiation appears to mean that North Korea intends to keep developing nuclear weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and spy satellites, all of which have been banned by the UN Security Council.

“The double-faced [stance] and behavior of the US, whose deeds are quite different from its words, are a vicious factor disturbing peace and stability in the region of the Korean peninsula,” Kim asserted.

“It is the consistent [stance] of the DPRK against the US that the former should be ready for both dialogue and confrontation and, in particular, more thoroughly ready for confrontation if the ‘peace by power’ favored by the latter is to rely on muscle-flexing behind the rhetoric about dialogue.”

It is important to note that Kim did not reject peace outright, notwithstanding her emphasis on “confrontation.” Her statement was published in the KCNA, which is intended for audiences overseas, but not in the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper available to general readers in North Korea.

Kim noted that she had taken “heed to the trivial explanation of [Linda] Thomas-Greenfield, US representative to the United Nations, who described the US as a ‘victim’ of the present situation while illustrating their [stance] for ‘meaningful dialogue’ and efforts for [a] ‘peaceful solution’” during the UN Security Council’s open meeting.

“However, she should first have had to clarify from where and why the strategic targets have frequently appeared at south Korea’s ports only 500 to 600 km away from Pyongyang, before vouching that the US weapons did not target the DPRK,” Kim added.

The UN Security Council discussed possible responses to North Korea’s launch of a surveillance satellite on Monday, but was unable to achieve anything concrete because of disagreement between the US-led West on one side and China and Russia on the other.

This is Kim’s first statement in more than four months, since July 17.

In her last statement, Kim said the US’ attempts to strengthen its system of extended deterrence and overextend its threatening network of military alliances would only push North Korea further away from the negotiations that the US so desires.

By Lee Je-hun, senior staff writer

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