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Kim Yo Jong rules out U.S.-N. Korea summit with a bit of possibility open

Kim Yo Jong rules out U.S.-N. Korea summit with a bit of possibility open

Posted July. 11, 2020 08:01,   

Updated July. 11, 2020 08:01


Kim Yo Jong, the first deputy director of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, said on Friday that there will be no U.S.-North Korea summit this year but adding, “You never know.”

According to the conversation reported by the Korean Central News Agency on Friday, she said that nobody knows what would happen suddenly depending on the judgment and decisions of the two countries’ leaders.

“I hope that the U.S. does not hold onto a silly dream to negotiate the permanent closure of our large nuclear facilities, such as the Yongbyon district, which is the central part of our nuclear development, with the partial ease of sanctions,” Kim said. “The basic structure of the negotiations should be ‘the resumption of U.S.-North Korea talks when withdrawing the U.S.’s hostile treatment toward North Korea,” she added. “I’d like to make it clear that denuclearization is not possible at the moment. For it to happen, the U.S.’s irreversible major measures must be taken simultaneously along with our actions.” This means that North Korea is only willing to talk when topics, such as the guarantee for its regime and the suspension of ROK-U.S. joint military exercises, are on the table, instead of the partial lifting of North Korea sanctions.

“Everything will work out smoothly if the U.S. leaves us alone,” she also said. “(Kim Jong Un) wishes the best of luck for President Trump with his business.”

“We're very hopeful that we can continue to have this conversation, whether that's at levels beneath the summit, or if it's appropriate -- there is a useful activity to take place to have senior leaders get back together as well,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday (local time) regarding the topic.

Oh-Hyuk Kwon hyuk@donga.com