Go to contents

Anti-US hardliner in Pyongyang vs. N. Korea experts in Washington

Anti-US hardliner in Pyongyang vs. N. Korea experts in Washington

Posted January. 13, 2021 07:31,   

Updated January. 13, 2021 07:31


The new administration of the U.S. under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden is seven days away. The Biden administration is finalizing the appointments of officials who will work on diplomacy with North Korea. Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also revealed his lineup against the U.S. at the eighth Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea.

The South Korean government believes that if the Biden administration appoints the State Department’s special representative for North Korea who would be in charge of working-level negotiations on North Korea’s denuclearization conditions for dialogues between the U.S. and North Korea can be met sooner than expected. As the North Korean leader called for a change in the U.S.’s attitude mentioning “preemptive nuclear attacks,” the year to determine whether the U.S. and North Korea will resume negotiations or maintain the current confrontation began.

Kim reappointed hardliner Kim Yong Chol on Sunday as the head of the United Front Department after his dismissal from the same post for the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit last year. It was reported that Kim Yo Jong, the first Deputy Director of the Workers' Party of Korea, is working on strategies against the U.S. along with First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui. On the U.S. side, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, and CIA director nominee William Burns are all experienced experts in all North Korean issues.

“The North Korean leader has made it clear that he will pursue nuclear development if there is no significant change in the U.S.’s attitude,” said a diplomatic source. “However, Biden’s diplomacy and security lineups know the patterns of North Korea’s negotiations and provocations, which will make it difficult for the North to maintain the same approach.”

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com · Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com