About the Author
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korean state media on Tuesday said there has been “a sign of change” in DPRK-U.S. relations, though warned that the change is “just the beginning” and could be reversed.
In a commentary, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) urged incumbent and former U.S. officials, North Korea experts, the Japanese government, and South Korean political parties not to disrupt the atmosphere of dialogue.
“The commentary noted… the dramatic atmosphere for reconciliation has been created in relations between the north and the south of Korea and there has been a sign of change also in the DPRK-U.S. relations,” KCNA said in an English language report.
The KCNA commentary, however, did not mention a scheduled summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – on which Pyongyang has remained silent since it was first announced earlier in the month.
Seoul and U.S. officials have since the invitation cited Washington’s policy of “maximum pressure and sanctions” as a factor behind North Korea’s return to the negotiating table.
But KCNA on Tuesday condemned hardliners in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea for “peddling groundless stories distorting the truth in a bid to mislead public opinion,” describing them as “dishonest forces.”
“Such rubbish as ‘result of sanctions and pressure’ and sort of ‘limit’ spread by the hostile forces is just as meaningless as a dog barking at the moon,” KCNA reported, claiming that the DPRK economy has improved and that Pyongyang was not pursuing talks due to the maximum pressure policy.
“The great change in the north-south relations is not an accidental one but a noble fruition made thanks to the DPRK’s proactive measures, warm compatriotism and will for defending peace.”
Relations are improving because the country’s “dignity has remarkably risen and it has strong might,” it continued.
“Everything about the north-south and the DPRK-U.S. relations is still just the beginning,” KCNA said in a Korean language version of the article.
“We have already confidently said time and justice are on our side and the triumph is ours,” it continued, adding that the meaning of these comments would make sense “if you see today’s reality.”
“We do like to remind that it is time for all to approach everything with prudence, self-control and patience.”
Another commentary by the KCNA on Saturday criticized the Japanese government for its continued calls for sanctions and pressure on the country.
“Still now, the Japanese reactionaries are making a shrill cry demanding “sanctions and pressure on the DPRK,” indicative of their extreme uneasiness over their frustration,” it said, arguing that the situation has “rapidly” changed and calling on Japan to rethink its policy toward the North.
Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported last week, quoted unnamed sources, that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was seeking “direct dialogue” with Kim Jong Un.
The KCNA over the weekend, however, warned that “Japanese reactionaries may not get a ticket for Pyongyang” if hardline comments continued.
“It would be wise for them to stop useless struggling and follow the trend of the times before it is too late,” KCNA said.
Edited by Oliver Hotham