Kim’s sister says ‘no need’ for another US-North Korea summit

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un look on as documents are exchanged between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the North Korean leader’s sister Kim Yo Jong during their historic in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 10 July 2020

Kim’s sister says ‘no need’ for another US-North Korea summit

  • Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump first met in Singapore two years ago
  • Talks collapsed in 2019 over what Pyongyang would be willing to give up for sanctions relief

SEOUL: The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Friday there was “no need” for another summit with the United States unless Washington offered a “decisive change” in approach.
Kim and US President Donald Trump first met in Singapore two years ago but talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal have been stalled since their Hanoi summit collapsed in early 2019 over what the North would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump said this week he would “certainly” meet with Kim again “if I thought it was going to be helpful,” after speculation that he might pursue another summit if it could help his re-election chances in November.
But in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yo Jong — who has emerged as one of her brother’s closest advisers — said: “There is no need for us to sit across with the US right now.”
If a summit was held, she said, “it is too obvious that it will only be used as boring boasting coming from someone’s pride.”
Denuclearization, she added, was “not possible at this point,” and could only happen alongside parallel “irreversible simultaneous major steps” by the other side — which she emphasized did not refer to sanctions lifting.
She did not go into specifics, but Washington stations 28,500 troops in the South to defend it against its neighbor, and has a range of military assets in Japan and the wider Pacific region.
Pyongyang insists that it needs its nuclear arsenal to deter against a possible US invasion.
Kim Yo Jong’s statement was only her personal view, she said, but the lengthy declaration appeared intended to send multiple messages.
She said she had watched the July 4 Independence Day celebrations in the US on television and had been given permission by her brother to “personally obtain, for sure, the DVD of the celebrations ... in the future.”
Her brother had “entrusted me with conveying his wishes to President Trump that he would certainly achieve great successes in his work,” she added.
Kim Jong Un declared in December an end to moratoriums on nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and Pyongyang has repeatedly said it has no intention to continue talks unless Washington drops what it describes as “hostile” policies toward the North.


Lukashenko: I need to contact Putin, protests not just threat to Belarus

Updated 43 min 26 sec ago

Lukashenko: I need to contact Putin, protests not just threat to Belarus

  • Mass unrest followed Lukashenko’s re-election victory last week

MINSK: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday he wanted to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning street protests were not just a threat to Belarus.
Mass unrest followed Lukashenko’s re-election victory last week, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets accusing him of rigging the vote. “There is a need to contact Putin so that I can talk to him now, because it is not a threat to just Belarus anymore,” he said, according to state news agency Belta.
“Defending Belarus today is no less than defending our entire space, the union state, and an example to others ... Those who roam the streets, most of them do not understand this.”