Although North and South Korea have begun to engage in rare diplomatic talks regarding the North’s participating in the upcoming Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea, Kim Jong Un’s reclusive regime has made it clear that they are unwilling to include their nuclear ambitions in said discussions. Further, they have now taken issue with South Korean President Moon Jae-In giving President Donald Trump any credit for the small amount of progress the two states have made in diffusing tensions.
In a press conference held last week, South Korea’s president gave Donald Trump some of the credit in helping to lead the two Koreas to speaking, saying Trump “did a lot,” and adding that he wanted to “convey his thanks.” This diplomatic overture credited increasing sanctions levied by the United States and United Nations over North Korea with pushing them toward diplomacy, rather than a continuation of their aggressive rhetoric. North Korean officials, on the other hand, see things differently.
According to statements made in North Korea’s state owned news outlet, KCNA, President Moon’s remarks were “impolite,” “ill-boding,” and “chilling the atmosphere for reconciliation.”
“He even made such rubbish that the North was led to dialogue to open up the chapter for ‘the North’s denuclearization,’ not for the improvement of the South-North relations,” KCNA reported. “The present South Korean chief executive’s attitude casts doubt as to his intent to improve the North-South ties and build confidence.”
Despite Kim Jong Un engaging with South Korea to allow his nation to participate in the Olympics, the KCNA piece went on to threaten a retraction of North Korea’s participation, as though that offered some diplomatic leverage over their southern neighbor.
“They should know that train and bus carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang,” KCNA wrote.
The most recent bout of sanctions applied to Kim Jong Un’s nation include a significant limiting of oil imports, and further constriction of permitted exports, leaving North Korea in dire fiscal circumstances. With a recent influx of North Korean soldiers attempting to defect and North Korean fishermen pursuing more bountiful and dangerous bounties in the open ocean, it’s clear that previous sanctions have begun to have an affect on the North Korean people… but continues missile testing clearly indicates that Kim has been willing to allocate what little resources he has available to weapons programs rather than the well being of his populace. These new sanctions may even make that impossible, likely leading to the warming trend between Kim and South Korea, regardless of what Kim’s regime has to say.
North and South Korea are slated to meet again on Monday to begin discussing the logistics of receiving North Korea’s delegation for the upcoming Olympic games.
Image courtesy of the Associated Press