North Korean Media Celebrate Victory at Summit, Expect Lifting of Sanctions

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un
Kevin Lim/The Straits Times via AP

North Korean media unsurprisingly declared the Singapore summit a huge victory for dictator Kim Jong-un on Wednesday, announcing that all of Pyongyang’s demands have been met and U.S. sanctions will soon be lifted.

As the BBC observed, North Korea’s state-run media hail everything the leadership does as a stupendous triumph. It is highly unusual for them to cover the dictator’s actions in real time, as they have done during the Singapore meeting.

The front page of North Korea’s official paper, Rodong Sinmun, hailed the summit as the “meeting of the century.”

North Korea’s KCNA news service described the summit as an “epoch-making meeting much awaited by the whole world” and a moment that will “remain long in history.”

Kim Jong-un’s performance was lavished with effusive and deeply weird praise:

Noting that it was not easy to get to where they were, Kim Jong Un made the meaningful words there was a past that gripped their ankles and prejudice and wrong practice covered their eyes and ears, but they overcame all that to come to this place and stand at a new starting point.

The two top leaders had a candid exchange of views on the practical issues of weighty significance in putting an end to the decades-long hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and making peace and stability settle on the Korean Peninsula.

Noting that he is pleased to sit face-to-face with President Trump and the U.S. side’s delegation, Chairman Kim Jong-un highly praised the president’s will and enthusiasm to resolve matters in a realistic way through dialogue and negotiations, away from the hostility-woven past.

Expressing belief that the summit talks would lead to improvement of the DPRK-U.S. relations, President Trump appreciated that an atmosphere of peace and stability was created on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, although distressed with the extreme danger of armed clash only a few months ago, thanks to the proactive peace-loving measures taken by the respected Supreme Leader from the outset of this year.

For what it is worth, KCNA’s description of the joint declaration issued by President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un was mostly accurate and mildly conceded that North Korea is perhaps a bit responsible for some of the “distrust and hostility” pervading the Korean peninsula. That is quite a bit different from the normally belligerent tone of North Korean media, which blames all difficulties on the evil Americans, their puppet regime in Seoul, and/or Japan. North Korea’s newspapers haven’t exactly been brimming with kind words for Donald Trump over the past two years either.

The North Korean account of the summit notably claims President Trump offered to lift sanctions and provide security guarantees as part of “improving the mutual relationship through dialogue and negotiation,” without mentioning the nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles North Korea is supposed to give up.

However, another KCNA article on Wednesday did accurately state that Point 3 of the four-point declaration issued by Trump and Kim calls for North Korea to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Newsweek adds the possibly significant detail that televised news of the summit was delivered on North Korean state television by Ri Chun-hee, known to North Korea watchers as “the lady in pink.” Ri’s usual beat has been to announce North Korea’s glorious achievements in nuclear missile technology.

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