July 15, 2019
Latest News
European Union

North Korea lobs insults at US but shields Trump

 A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea reacts while overseeing the strike drill of military units at an undisclosed location in North Korea, May 9, 2019. EPA-EFE/KCNA EDITORIAL USE ONLY

A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea reacts while overseeing the strike drill of military units at an undisclosed location in North Korea, May 9, 2019. EPA-EFE/KCNA EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Seoul, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- A year after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's historic first meeting with President Donald Trump, his government is once again hurling insults at the United States - while keeping Trump out of the rhetorical line of fire, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report made available to EFE on Monday.

During the eight months between the leaders' summits in Singapore and Vietnam, the North Korean foreign ministry, despite diplomatic squabbles, published just a few attacks on Washington.

But since leaving Hanoi in early March without a nuclear deal, North Korea has unleashed at least 10 reports lashing out at senior Trump administration officials and their maneuvers.

Trump is the focal point of the isolated regime's top-down negotiating strategy and, despite the insults, Kim has sought to keep him engaged. On Tuesday, Trump said he received a "very personal, very warm" letter from Kim.

The foreign ministry, meanwhile, has been firing off angry dispatches, keeping the messaging centralized and more official than the routine diatribes in state-media commentaries.

US national security adviser John Bolton is a "human defect," the ministry declared on May 27 after he asserted a recent weapons launch by Pyongyang violated a United Nations testing ban.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested in April that working-level talks could conclude by year's end, North Korea complimented his talents in "fabricating stories like a fiction writer."

And this month, Pyongyang questioned Washington's commitment to the Singapore pact, in which the two sides pledged to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula with denuclearization and new relations. "There is a limit to our patience," the Kim regime said.

The missives, more one-liner than red alert, reflect how North Korea remains open to further talks but has few options - including risky weapons tests - to bend negotiations in its favor.

For Pyongyang, the state dispatches must convey frustration while tiptoeing around wording that would signal rash military action or upset Trump.

"The thing that North Korea fears more than pressure is being ignored," said Gordon Flake, a Korea specialist at the Perth USAsia Centre in Australia.

The attacks have increased as the Kim regime continues to fume over gridlocked nuclear talks, a standstill that leaves in place sanctions bruising the country's economy. Eight of the foreign-ministry missives have occurred since May 1.

Pyongyang appears to be recalibrating its nuclear-negotiating strategy, North Korea watchers say.

The pause in talks differs from the scene a year ago. In Singapore, Trump and Kim exchanged a historic handshake and pledged to improve ties.

After the Hanoi summit's abrupt ending, North Korea remained quiet until April 18, when it slammed Pompeo, calling for a new negotiating counterpart from Washington.

The string of foreign-ministry statements has since addressed a seized North Korean cargo ship, Pyongyang's human-rights violations and US military strategy in the India-Pacific region.

The wording, though pointed, has refrained from making direct threats on the US or against Trump and many of the attacks haven't been shared domestically, an indication of the North's unwillingness to commit to a specific course of action, said Rachel Lee, a former senior North Korea analyst for the US government.

"They are keeping the door open to dialogue," said Lee, who now works at NK News, a group covering North Korea.

North Korea has deployed garish state-media attacks before. In 2005, Pyongyang called President George W. Bush a "philistine whom we can never deal with." The isolated regime hurled racist slurs at President Obama while in office. Bolton, during six-party talks in the early 2000s, was called an "animal running about recklessly."

Those public offensives were largely ignored by Washington, though Trump has reacted to North Korean state media in the past. In September 2017, Kim described Trump as "the mentally deranged US dotard." Hours later, Trump responded with a tweet calling Kim "a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people."

The two leaders exchanged barbs in early January 2018 about nuclear buttons on their desks. But when relations warmed, the two countries were quick to affirm closeness.

"What's different this time is the North Koreans have never had anybody on the other end, taking their monologue to be a dialogue," said Mason Richey, a professor at Seoul's Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, who studies the regime's state media.

During the negotiating impasse, the North's more prominent state-media strategy only invites misinterpretations because the Kim regime isn't available to explain its side or discuss possible solutions, said Duyeon Kim, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

"The problem with this method is that it's not a two-way conversation," Kim said.

dj/hh

News history

Vienna, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- Discrimination, racism, inequality, child poverty. The European Union is still the scene of serious violations of fundamental...

Design guru's exit marks Apple shift from products to services

By Tripp Mickle

Heatwave triggers vast wildfire in northeast Spain that engulfs 13,600 acres

Tarragona, Spain, Jun 27 (efe-epa).- A heatwave that has engulfed Western Europe in recent days has kindled the first serious wildfires in Spain this year...

From NY's Stonewall revolt to old age frailty, back to closet

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

US oil exports jump due to turmoil in Mideast

By Ryan Dezember

Repairs to Harry and Meghan's new home cost UK taxpayers $2.8 million

Madrid, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The official home that Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was refurbished using...

Stocks: Defense shares surge on spending

New York (USA), Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The United States may have held off on an airstrike against Iran in favor of sanctions, but US stock investors are...

Iran says new US sanctions end any chance of diplomacy

By Sune Engel Rasmussen in Beirut, Aresu Eqbali in Tehran and Dov Lieber in Jerusalem

3 Chinese banks deny being probed by US in relation to North Korea sanctions

Beijing, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Three Chinese banks have denied that they were involved in any investigation related to possible violations of North Korea...

Revote in Istanbul rebukes Erdogan

By David Gauthier-Villars

Mercedes dominant in practice ahead of French F1 GP, finishing 1-2 twice

Paul Ricard Circuit (France), Jun 21 (efe-epa).- Mercedes put on a dominant performance in both free practice sessions at the Circuit Paul Ricard race track...

Apple explores shift away from China

By Yoko Kubota and Tripp Mickle

Real Madrid reinforces its defense with new signing Mendy

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid reinforced its defensive lineup with the inclusion of France left-back Ferland Mendy who was presented to fans at the...

What to know about Libra cryptocurrency

New York (USA), Jun 19 (efe-epa).-Facebook just disclosed the first details of its long-anticipated cryptocurrency, called Libra, according to a Dow Jones...

Real Madrid unveils new forward Rodrygo: I hope to make Madrid fans happy

Madrid, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid unveiled the latest component of its new squad for the upcoming season, Brazilian forward Rodrygo, at its Santiago...

Former UEFA president Platini held over awarding 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

Paris, Jun 18 (EFE).- Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested on suspicion of corruption linked to a decision to award the 2022 World Cup to...

US says Israel not invited to Bahrain Conference

Washington, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The White House said it won't invite the Israeli government to the unveiling of the economic part of its Israeli-Palestinian...

North Korea lobs insults at US but shields Trump

Seoul, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- A year after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's historic first meeting with President Donald Trump, his government is once again...

China biotech companies poach US talent

Hong Kong (China) Jun 17 (efe-epa).- China-based biotechnology startups looking to go global are poaching talent from the biggest American pharmaceutical...

Toyota in pole at Le Mans with Kobayashi driving, Alonso, 2nd, dreams of win

Le Mans (France), Jun 14 (efe-epa).- The driver Kamui Kobayashi secured pole position in his Toyota TS050 ahead of 24 hours of Le Mans, leaving second-place...

HSBC boosts role as Saudi banker

By Rory Jones in Dubai and Margot Patrick in London

Nintendo shifts some production from China

By Takashi Mochizuki

Pepsi executive picked to lead UK's Reckitt

By Saabira Chaudhuri

Boris Johnson says UK must leave EU on Oct. 31 as he launches leadership bid

London, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- Boris Johnson said Wednesday the United Kingdom must leave the European Union on Oct. 31 as he launched his bid to replace Prime...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.