Kim Yo-jong, sister to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, published a poorly written “press statement” Friday praising Kim’s relationship with President Donald Trump, rejecting further summits between them, and requesting DVD copies of Fourth of July celebration footage.
Kim Yo-jong’s statement appeared to be a response to speculation triggered by leftist South Korean President Moon Jae-in that Trump and her brother may soon host another summit to ease tensions between the two countries, which have technically been at war for 70 years. During the course of publicizing his book against Trump, former National Security Advisor John Bolton also hinted at a potential “surprise” summit between the two, though it is unclear how Bolton would be aware of that. Trump himself responded to the rumors by stating that he has a positive relationship with Kim and is open to speaking with him at any time.
Kim Yo-jong wrote in her statement, published by the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in English, that the chatter was “good enough for me to kill breakfast time by watching the TV news,” but she had “doubt” that new talks would occur.
“We have nothing to gain from a negotiation with the U.S., and we do not even harbour any expectation about it,” Kim wrote. “Serious contradiction and unsolvable discord exist between the DPRK and the U.S. Under such circumstances, I am of the view that the DPRK-U.S. summit talks is not needed this year and beyond, and for our part, it is not beneficial to us unless the U.S. shows decisive change in its stand.
DPRK is short for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s name for itself.
Kim Yo-jong then lists three reasons why North Korea should not attend any talks with the United States, one of which appears to be simply a personal insult against Bolton:
Three reasons behind can be summarized as follows. First, the summit talks, if needed, they will only be needed for the U.S. and they will be unprofitable to us. Second, we will only end up losing time again even though we sit across with the U.S. which does not even have the courage to dare a new challenge, and it would only entail a risk of impairing the special relations that have been maintained between the top leaders. Third, it should not be accepted because it was foretold by Bolton who is a human scum.
Kim later adds that she does not believe North Korea has anything to negotiate with the United States because it is no longer seeking to eliminate the sanctions against it. North Korea is currently under the strictest international sanctions in modern history, which have devastated its already impoverished communist economy. The sanctions, a response to the nation’s 2017 illegal nuclear weapons test, have reportedly shrunk North Korea’s trade volume by half.
Trump’s two summits with Kim – in Singapore and Vietnam – consisted largely in discussions about ending the sanctions. Trump walked out of the Vietnam summit claiming the North Koreans were demanding sanctions relief without offering anything in return.
Kim Yo-jong claimed Friday that Pyongyang does not care about the sanctions and can withstand them easily.
“From that time on, we completely ruled out the issue of lifting sanctions from the agenda of negotiations with the U.S.,” Kim wrote of the last summit. “We are fully capable of living under any sanctions, so there is no reason for us to be driven by the U.S.”
Kim urged the United States to “make our nukes no threat to the U.S.” by behaving in a way favorable to North Korea, claiming, “We do not have the slightest intention to pose a threat to the U.S. and Comrade Chairman has already made it clear to President Trump. … Everything will go smoothly if they leave us alone and make no provocation on us.”
She repeatedly asserts that Trump and Kim have a “good and solid” relationship and concludes by saying her brother wished her to offer “his wishes to President Trump that he would certainly achieve great successes in his work.” She also strangely insists on America sending her footage of Independence Day celebrations for her to enjoy.
“Last but not the least, 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 wrote. “I have got the permission from Comrade Chairman [Kim Jong-un] to personally obtain, for sure, the DVD of the celebrations for the Independence Day in the future, if possible.”
While Kim worded her language in a confusing manner, ending the sentence with “if possible” suggests that she is requesting copies of the alleged DVDs, rather than stating she already has them or demanding them forcefully. She does not specify which Independence Day celebrations she would like to view, though, given the small number of them permitted this year given the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, she may be referring to Trump’s address at Mount Rushmore.