North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un indicated on Thursday that he is willing to restore communication with South Korea, but brushed off US offers for talks as “cunning ways” and “a petty trick” to mask its hostility toward Pyongyang.
In an address to the country’s parliament, Kim said relations with Seoul remain “at a crossroads” and it is imperative that South Korean authorities change their “confrontational” attitude toward the North, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
He said Pyongyang will restore cross-border communication lines with Seoul in early October as the first step for lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
Communication between the two sides has been severed since the middle of last year, while the North also blew up an inter-Korean liaison office along the border in June 2020.
There was some progress on the front this July as Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in exchanged several personal letters and agreed on the need for reconciliation.
However, the prospects of peace significantly soured after South Korea and the US held hold joint military exercises in August.
Tensions have dramatically escalated since then as both the North and South test-launched ballistic missiles this month.
Kim stressed that South Korea must work to “solve the fundamental issues first in practice, not by word, and serious approach and honestly implement inter-Korean declarations.”
“I make clear once again that whether inter-Korean relations are restored and developed, or they remain in a state of deterioration, now depends on the attitude of South Korean authorities,” he said.
‘US pursuing hostile policy’
Kim maintained that there can be no progress in relations with the US because Washington is not sincere in its push for dialogue and just wants to “deceive the international community.”
“As the past eight months of this new US administration clearly show, the US remains utterly unchanged in posing military threats and pursuing a hostile policy toward the DPRK but just employs more cunning ways and methods,” the North Korean leader asserted.
“The US is touting diplomatic engagement and dialogue without preconditions, but this is, for all intents and purposes, no more than a show to cover up their hostile acts and deceiving the international community.”