North Korea Sends Mixed Signals on Talks with US
A top North Korean official Tuesday signaled that future talks with the United States were unlikely. The comments came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talked about the possibility of opening talks with the U.S.
Kim Yo Jong is the powerful sister of the North Korean leader. She said in a statement that the U.S. has the "wrong" expectation about her brother's recent comments.
The U.S. is looking at the situation in a way "to seek comfort for itself," she told the state-run Korean Central News Agency. She added that the expectation for talks with North Korea will lead the U.S. into "greater disappointment."
Last week, Kim Jong Un said at a ruling party meeting that his country must be ready for both "dialogue and confrontation."
President Joe Biden's administration said last month that it was open to talks with North Korea. But the administration added that North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons.
Jake Sullivan is the White House National Security Advisor. He told ABC News that Kim's comments were an "interesting signal" but that he wants a clearer message from North Korea. He also said the U.S. wanted to restart negotiations with North Korea about its nuclear program.
This week, Sung Kim, the U.S. diplomat for North Korea, met with South Korean and Japanese officials on the North Korean issue. He said he hopes North Korea will agree to meet "anytime, anywhere without preconditions."
Jenny Town is a Korean expert at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. She said Kim Yo Jong's statement does not fully eliminate the idea that diplomacy can restart. She noted that the statement "appears to suggest it's not likely for now."
North Korea has boycotted talks with the United States since 2019. Kim Jong Un and former U.S. President Donald Trump met in February of that year in Vietnam. North Korea offered to close a nuclear center in exchange for a lifting of sanctions. But Trump rejected the offer.
Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has made talks all but impossible. North Korea closed its border in January 2020. And it limited contact with the outside world including its main trading partner China.
Leif-Eric Easley is a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. He said the border closings "have caused much economic" hardship in the country.
At a meeting with senior officials last week, Kim Jong Un admitted that his country is facing a "tense" food situation. Easley said, "These meetings are largely political theater to cover up failures of economic planning and oppressive social control."
Several foreign media outlets reported that North Korea is facing growing food shortages and high price increases. However, it is difficult to confirm the information. Most foreigners, including aid workers and diplomats, have left the country during the pandemic.
North Korea says that it has no coronavirus cases in the country. The claim has been widely disputed by experts. And an outbreak would be very damaging to a poor country with a weak healthcare system and a lack of medical supplies.
I'm Dan Novak.
1. be open to 愿意接受（建议、观点等）的；虚怀若谷的；
I'm open to suggestions for what you would like to do in our classes.
2. in exchange for 作为交换；
It is illegal for public officials to solicit gifts or money in exchange for favors.
3. all but 几乎；差不多；
The concrete wall that used to divide this city has now all but gone.
4. cover up 隐藏，遮掩(事实)；
He suspects there's a conspiracy to cover up the crime.
一名朝鲜高级官员周二表示，未来与美国举行会谈的可能性不大 。几天前，朝鲜领导人金正恩谈到了与美国展开会谈的可能性 。
金与正是朝鲜领导人具有影响力的妹妹 。她在一份声明中表示，美国对她哥哥最近的言论抱有“错误”的期望 。
她对朝鲜中央通讯社表示，美国正在以“为自己寻求安慰”的方式看待局势 。她还表示，对与朝鲜会谈抱有期望，将使美国“大失所望” 。
美国总统乔·拜登领导的政府上个月表示，他们愿意与朝鲜举行会谈 。但美国政府同时表示，朝鲜必须放弃核武器 。
杰克·沙利文是白宫国家安全顾问 。他对美国广播公司（简称ABC）表示，金正恩的言论是一个“有趣的信号”，但他希望朝鲜发出更明确的信息 。他还表示，美国希望重启与朝鲜有关其核计划的谈判 。
本周，美国驻朝鲜外交官金圣与韩国和日本官员会面，商讨朝鲜问题 。他表示，他希望朝鲜能同意“随时随地、不设先决条件”的会晤 。
詹妮·敦是华盛顿史汀森中心的韩国专家 。她表示，金与正的声明并未完全消除外交可以重启的想法 。她指出，这份声明“似乎暗示目前不太可能” 。
自2019年以来，朝鲜一直抵制与美国的会谈 。金正恩和美国前总统唐纳德·特朗普于同年2月在越南会晤 。朝鲜提出用关闭一座核中心换取解除制裁 。但特朗普拒绝了这一提议 。
从那时起，冠状病毒疫情使谈判几乎不可能进行 。朝鲜在2020年1月关闭边境，同时限制与外界的接触，包括与主要贸易伙伴中国的接触 。
列夫·艾瑞克·伊斯礼是首尔梨花女子大学的教授 。他表示，边境关闭“给该国造成了许多经济困难” 。
金正恩在上周与高级官员会面时承认，他的国家正面临“紧张”的粮食形势 。伊斯利表示，“这些会议在很大程度上是政治表演，用来掩盖经济计划和压迫性社会控制的失败 。”
多家外国媒体报道称，朝鲜正面临日益严重的粮食短缺和物价上涨过快等问题 。然而，这一信息难以证实 。大多数外国人，包括援助人员和外交官，在疫情期间离开了这个国家 。
朝鲜表示，该国没有冠状病毒病例 。这一说法引发专家的广泛争论 。而爆发疫情将对一个医疗体系薄弱、医疗供应匮乏的穷国造成极大的损害 。