Kim Yo Jong said it is unlikely that there will be a new summit in 2020 between her brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump. She also said he ordered DVDs of the U.S. Independence Day celebrations, a curious fact that some analysts interpret as a gesture of the degree of warmth in bilateral relations between Washington and Pyongyang.
In a statement released Friday by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim said she and her brother sent good wishes to President Trump, but stipulated that it is not the right time for the two leaders to hold their third meeting.
“It is still my personal opinion, however, I doubt that things like the DPRK-U.S. summit talks would happen this year,” she said, although she qualified, “But I’m still questioning it. That’s because a surprise thing may still happen, depending upon the judgement and decision between the two top leaders.”
Kim’s comments came a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was “very hopeful” of resuming talks with North Korea on denuclearization, which seemed to leave open the possibility of a third summit between Trump and Kim. But the truth is that the White House has not yet requested a meeting with the North Korean dictator.
“When we look back on the early 2019, the U.S., had the possibility to first disable our nuclear mainstay and mess up our long-term nuclear program by putting on airs of partially lifting sanctions,” Kim explained, saying that for the time being it is not possible for denuclearization to take place in the communist regime as long as the economic sanctions against Pyongyang are not lifted.
Beyond that, in what could be interpreted as a “friendly” statement to the American people, Kim Yo Jong said she obtained her brother’s permission to obtain DVDs of the recent U.S. Independence Day celebrations.
“I would like to give my impression on the celebrations for the U.S. Independence Day that I’ve seen on TV a few days ago,” Kim said.
“I have got the permission from Comrade Chairman to personally obtain, for sure, the DVD of the celebrations for the Independence Day in the future, if possible,” she said.
The statements by Kim Jong Un’s influential sister came hours after the U.S. point man for North Korea, Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, concluded a three-day visit to South Korea where he rejected speculation that he was trying to meet with North Korean officials during his trip, but said the United States was open to talks.
In June, North Korea destroyed a liaison office near the North-South border after claiming that the South Korean government was allowing defectors to send leaflets across the border. Since then, Kim Yo Jong has been the visible face of Pyongyang’s confrontational rhetoric against Seoul.
However, that tone was not aimed at the United States or specifically toward President Trump.
“We do not have the slightest intention to pose a threat to the U.S.,” she said, “Comrade Chairman has already made it clear to President Trump.”