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Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:15
DPRK leader's sister says summit with US unlikely
By Reuters
Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:15 By Reuters

In this March 2, 2019 photo, Kim Yo-jong, sister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. (JORGE SILVA / POOL / AP)

SEOUL / PYONGYANG - Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) leader, said another summit with the United States would only be useful for Washington at this point, but added that her country had no intention of “threatening the US,” according to state media.

Kim said in her personal opinion, another summit between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump might not happen this year “but we never know,” news agency KCNA reported on Friday

Kim, the first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, said in her personal opinion, there is unlikely to be another summit between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump this year but “a surprise thing may still happen,” news agency KCNA reported on Friday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday he was “very hopeful” about resuming talks with the DPRK about denuclearisation and appeared to leave open the possibility of another summit between the countries’ leaders.

Kim Yo-jong’s comments came a day after the US point man for the DPRK, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, wrapped up a three-day visit to Seoul where he rejected speculation he was seeking to meet DPRK officials during his trip, but said the United States was open to talks.

Recent DPRK statements have rejected the idea of new talks, and Kim reiterated Pyongyang’s objections to what it sees as hostile and self-serving policies of the United States.

"Let me assume that the DPRK-US summit talks does occur. The thing is that, in this case, the US would have a sigh of relief by means of dialogue alone with our leadership, buying time to be assured by the personal relations between the top leaders again. But, we have nothing to gain from a negotiation with the US, and we do not even harbor any expectation about it," Kim Yo-jong said.

"The US only wishes to buy time, keeping the door open to dialogue and calming us down. There is no need for us to sit across with the US right now, who is obsessed with the thoughts on what and how it can get more from us over the negotiating table, and I think it is the issue to be decided when the major changes are made in the attitude of the US," she added.

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Kim said Pyongyang would remain optimistic about a change in the US attitude.

"We would like to make it clear that it does not necessarily mean the denuclearization is not possible. But what we mean is that it is not possible at this point of time," she said.

"I remind the US that the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula can be realized only when there are major changes made on the other side, i.e. the irreversible simultaneous major steps to be taken in parallel with our actions," she added.

Her comments were couched in a somewhat softer tone than previous statements, and she even noted she had received special permission to view recordings of the recent Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in the United States.

“We do not have the slightest intention to pose a threat to the US.... Everything will go smoothly if they leave us alone and make no provocation on us,” she said.

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Kim said it was unclear if mixed messages of engagement and pressure from Trump and his aides are an “intentional scheme or a result of the President’s loose grip of power.”

She said her brother had instructed her to pass on greetings to Trump and send him wishes for success in his work. But even if the relationship between the leaders is good, Washington will return to being hostile and the DPRK needs to shape its policies in preparation for leaders other than Trump, Kim said.

Kim Jong-un and Trump exchanged threats and insults in 2017 as the DPRK rapidly advanced its missile and nuclear weapons technology, before ties warmed in early 2018.

The two leaders have met three times, but failed to find a compromise over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, or the international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

With Xinhua inputs

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