A Sunday report from The Daily Beast claims that North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, is rejecting Donald Trump’s unique brand of diplomacy in a bid for concessions. The report comes after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said on Friday that the country would be increasing its military force in the face of perceived threats from the United States. As reported by Global News, Ri also claimed that the country sees no reason to continue its diplomatic relationship with America under Trump.
According to Raw Story, The Daily Beast report suggests that Kim believes Trump is planning to “up the pressure” on North Korea via sanctions. The publication claims that sanctions relief is a top priority for Kim amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has “almost certainly” pushed the East Asia country’s economy into a “deep contraction.”
David Maxwell of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies claims that North Korea’s Friday statement was intended to tell Trump that the country “no longer appreciates” the president’s “unconventional, experimental, top-down, pen-pal diplomacy.”
“Kim probably thinks that Trump, running for re-election, will have to give him what he wants to avoid a breakdown in relations,” The Daily Beast report reads.
Whether the gambit will work remains to be seen, although the publication notes that Trump’s White House appears open to working with the country. Regardless, Kim doesn’t seem to be satisfied with the current state of diplomacy.
“Kim can continue to try to intimidate Trump — ‘orchestrated wrath’ is what Donald Kirk aptly calls it — but if he fails he will have damaged links with the only power that can give him what he needs,” The Daily Beast report reads.
“Kim probably realizes he’s in a fix. He needs, for regime survival, both foreign enemies and foreign cash. Getting one undermines the possibility of obtaining the other.”
Kim previously attempted to secure sanctions relief back at the 2019 summit in Vietnam. The negotiations ultimately broke down, as the United States was unwilling to provide sanctions relief. Conversely, Trump pressed Kim to turn over his country’s nuclear weapons, which the North Korea leader refused to do.
As reported by Global News, Trump and Kim last met in June 2019 at the inter-Korean border, but subsequent negotiations allegedly broke down. According to North Korea, the discussion fell apart due to America’s “old” way of thinking.
In recent months, North Korea has been conducting short-range missile tests and applying pressure to South Korea. Per NBC News, Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, recently threatened military action against the country’s southern neighbor.