A recent diplomatic spat between the two countries signals the Trump administration’s honeymoon period with North Korea is over.
Yesterday according to Newsmax the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticized the US over military drills in South Korea.
“War drills and hostility can never go with dialog and cooperation,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement broadcasted by a North Korean state news agency. “We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land. If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
The statement did not get a fuller acknowledgement at the joint press conference between officials from the US visiting Japan. Some experts claimed the timing of it was meant to impact the agenda.
Blinken brushed it off. “Let me say that I’m familiar with the comments you referenced, but the comments I’m actually most interested in today are those of our allies and partners. That’s why we’ve come to this region. That’s why we’ve come to Japan, precisely to listen to our allies and to discuss how collectively we might seek to address the threat from North Korea.”
To set up the scene, it was a two-on-two meet and greet. On the American side there was Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Over on the Japanese side, there was Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.
When it comes to foreign policy, Motegi was happy to touch base with the USA and guarantee that Japan was on the same page with them with regards to the Indo-Pacific region. Another outcome of the talk was a closer recognition that China’s behaviors in the East and South China seas are getting problematic.
But lastly was the North Korea subject. While the ultimate goal is the denuclearization of the country, the United States is having communication troubles.
Blinken was asked about North Korea “resisting” talking with the Biden administration. He responded: “To reduce the risks of escalation, we reached out to the North Korean Government through several channels starting in mid-February, including in New York. To date, we have not received a response from Pyongyang. This follows over a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the United States to engage.”
On his part, Blinken at least properly acknowledged China’s abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet, alongside their political subterfuge in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The pandemic came off as more of an afterthought, but Japanese officials were still grateful that their American counterparts agreed to meet in person.
Story cited here.