In a statement published in English by North Korean state media, Kim Kye Gwan said Pyongyang believed it has been “deceived by the US” and said the US has wasted the last eighteen months, in which little progress has been made on denuclearization.
“We have been deceived by the US, being caught in the dialogue with it for over one year and a half, and that was the lost time for us,” the adviser said.
“Although Chairman Kim Jong Un has a good personal feelings about President Trump, they are, in the true sense of the word, ‘personal’,” Kim Kye Gwan said. “There will never be such negotiations as that in Vietnam, in which we proposed exchanging a core nuclear facility of the country for the lift of some UN sanctions in a bid to lessen the sufferings of the peaceable people even a bit.”
Kim Kye Gwan said that North Korea had already received the greeting. He said there is a “special liaison channel” for the two leaders to communicate and hinted South Korea was unaware it existed.
“To forge personal relations between heads of state is a diplomatically natural thing between states,” the statement said. “However, it is somehow presumptuous for south Korea to meddle in the personal relations between Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un and President Trump.”
Duyeon Kim, a senior adviser at the International Crisis Group and North Korea expert, said the statement shows “Pyongyang has raised the price for even resuming talks.”
“Negotiations, if they ever resume, will be much more difficult,” she said. “They’re trying to make it sound like they’re not desperate for talks and that they can survive without Washington’s help. Unfortunately, this is quite true — North Korea has proven to be very resilient and they can trudge along and work towards their economic and nuclear objectives.”