North Korea’s Foreign Ministry reportedly accused U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration of engaging in a “dangerous attempt” to ruin the mood of the prospective Korean detente with “misleading” claims that it is the main driver behind the potential denuclearization of the peninsula. North Korea argues that dictator Kim Jong-un is the sole force pushing the regime to the negotiating table.
Citing North Korea’s official news agency, the Associated Press (AP) reports that Kim’s foreign ministry took issue with the Trump administration taking credit for convincing the dictator to discuss “peace and reconciliation” and ultimately defusing the tense relationship between the Koreas.
According to AP, the North’s spokesman is quoted as saying, “The U.S. is deliberately provoking the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] at the time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation.”
The spokesman cautioned the Trump administration “not to interpret Pyongyang’s willingness to talk as a sign of weakness,” AP reports, adding that the North Korean official also blasted the U.S. for its ongoing ”pressure and military threats,” urging the United States to ease its position.
Kim and Trump are expected to soon hold an unprecedented meeting following in the footsteps of the historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim.
With just weeks to go before President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are expected to hold their first-ever summit, Pyongyang on Sunday criticized what it called ”misleading” claims that Trump’s policy of maximum political pressure and sanctions are what drove the North to the negotiating table.
The North’s official news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman warning the claims are a ”dangerous attempt” to ruin a budding detente on the Korean Peninsula after Kim’s summit late last month with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
In addition to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. is trying to convince Kim to release three Korean-Americans accused of anti-state activities before the upcoming summit.
The comments from the regime suggesting that Kim deserves praise for the potential Korean detente echo a recent op-ed published by the Washington Post (WaPo) that mirrors the position of some Trump critics who refuse to attribute any semblance of credit to the U.S. president.
David Ignatius wrote in the opinion article published by the Post on May 3:
How did this extraordinary Korean detente happen? It’s a complicated story, but it appears that Kim has been the main driver. He has relentlessly pursued a dual strategy: to obtain a usable nuclear weapon, and then pivot toward dialogue and modernization of his economy. He sought his nuclear deterrent with almost reckless determination, but he has been surprisingly nimble in making the turn toward diplomacy.
“Would Kim have moved toward negotiations regardless of who was president? We’ll never know. But there’s no denying that Trump’s confrontational approach created an opportunity for crisis diplomacy – and that he was bold enough to embrace Kim’s offer of direct talks,” he added.