Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump continue to have a “special” relationship, North Korea’s state media said on Thursday, blaming other American officials for continued tension between the two countries.
In a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency, North Korean Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan said Kim Jong-un told him a few days ago that “the relationship between him and President Trump is special.”
“I sincerely hope that a motive force to overcome all the obstacles between the DPRK and the US and to advance the bilateral relations in the better direction will be provided on the basis of the close relationship,” the adviser said, referring to the official name of North Korea.
Contrary to Trump, he added, “Washington political circles and DPRK policy-makers in the US administration are hostile to the DPRK for no reason, preoccupied with the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice.”
The statement said Pyongyang would see “how wisely the US will pass the end of the year.”
In June, four months after the failed Hanoi summit with President Trump, Kim Jong-un set an end-of-the-year deadline for the United States to reconsider its approach in negotiations.
The two countries technically remain in a state of war since the Korean War of 1950-1953, while the North is under tough international sanctions relating to its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
At the Hanoi summit, the US rejected North Korea’s offer to partially surrender its nuclear capabilities in exchange for major sanctions relief. Following the collapse of the talks, Pyongyang conducted a series of short-range missile tests.
Trump had a brief meeting with Kim in June, their third overall, but the broader peace process has moved little beyond simple summitry.
The talks restarted in Stockholm earlier this month but were called off by North Korean officials who said the US was unwilling to make concessions. “The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectation,” said North Korea’s chief negotiator Kim Myong Gil. “It is totally due to the fact that the US would not give up their old... [hostile] attitude.”