Kim Orders North Korea to Prepare to Confront US

Dictator said dialogue is also a possibility
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 18, 2021 4:57 AM CDT
Kim Jong Un Vows to Be Ready for US Confrontation
In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a Workers' Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, June 17, 2021.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his government to be prepared for both dialogue and confrontation with the Biden administration—but more for confrontation, state media reported Friday, days after the United States and others urged the North to abandon its nuclear program and return to talks. Kim’s statement indicates he’ll likely push to strengthen his nuclear arsenal and increase pressure on Washington to give up what North Korea considers a hostile US policy, though he’ll also prepare for talks to resume, some experts say. During an ongoing ruling party meeting Thursday, Kim analyzed in detail the policy tendencies of the US under President Biden and clarified unspecified steps to be taken in relations with Washington, the Korean Central News Agency said.

Biden’s administration has worked to formulate a new approach on North Korea’s nuclear program that it describes as "calibrated and practical." Details of his North Korea policy haven’t been publicized, but US officials have suggested Biden would seek a middle ground between Donald Trump’s direct meetings with Kim and Barack Obama’s “strategic patience” to curb Kim’s nuclear program, the AP reports. Earlier this week, leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations issued a statement calling for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and “the verifiable and irreversible abandonment” of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. They called on North Korea to engage and resume dialogue and respect human rights conditions. (Earlier this week, Kim warned that the country faces food shortages.)

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