(PresidentialInsider.com)- The Biden Administration seems to be getting out over its foreign policy skis again. This time, in relation to North Korea.
On Sunday’s ABC This Week, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said he saw Kim Jong Un’s comments last week that he was ready for “dialogue and confrontation” with the US as an “interesting signal.”
Sullivan went on to say that the Biden White House will “wait to see” whether Kim’s comments are followed up with more direct communication to the White House “about a potential path forward.”
President Biden, according to Sullivan, “is prepared to engage in principled negotiations” over North Korea’s nuclear program with the “ultimate objective” being a denuclearized Korean peninsula.
Kim made his remarks Friday in response to the news that the United States and South Korea agreed to consider scrapping a controversial working group established to coordinate their policy toward Pyongyang.
This working group, set up in 2018, aimed to help the US and South Korea coordinate their approaches to such issues as denuclearization talks, humanitarian aid, sanctions enforcement and inter-Korean relations.
But Sullivan’s sanguine view of Kim Jong Un’s words didn’t age well.
On Tuesday, Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jong Un and a senior official in the ruling party, said in a statement released in state media that the US appears to be interpreting these “signals” from Pyongyang in a way that would only lead to disappointment.
Claiming the US is misinterpreting Kim’s words as a way “to seek comfort for itself,” Kim Yo Jong said the Biden Administration’s expectation “would plunge them into a greater disappointment.”
Kim’s statement comes while Sung Kim, the recently appointed US special representative for North Korea, is visiting Seoul to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Unification Minister Lee In-young.
On Monday, Sung Kim said he would meet with North Koreans “anywhere, anytime without preconditions” and he looked forward to a “positive response soon.”
If Kim Yo Jong’s statement is any indication, it is likely Sung Kim’s hope for a “positive response” is in vain.