Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, says that Washington has the "wrong" expectations after U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called her brother's comments about dialogue an "interesting signal."
But Kim's statement may not necessarily mean that the regime is turning down the proposal of dialogueespecially given that the response was swift and with no harsh criticism.
"The North probably thinks that they have expressed their interests in dialogue too frankly, so it's trying to neutralize things a bit."
This in response to Kim Jong-un saying last week that the regime should be ready for both dialogue and confrontation with the U.S.
The expert added that the North is indirectly seeking better conditions and an environment for them to be able to return to dialogue with the U.S. while keeping a close eye on the movements of Seoul and Washington like Biden administration's point-man on North Korea's visit to Seoul this week.
South Korea and the U.S.' consideration of ending their "working group" on North Korea policy is also expected to play a symbolic role for North Korea when returning to negotiating table.
"North Korea has long requested for the abolishment of the working group. They may look nonchalant, but the revocation will be effective in that it's sending a message that the U.S. wants dialogue and can alleviate pressure on the North."
While Pyeongyang remains luke warm for now, the regime is working to reboot its diplomacy, preparing for the post-pandemic era.
While highlighting self-rehabilitation to achieve the new five-year economic development plan, the North knows that it also has to manage situations externally to achieve that."
North Korean diplomats living abroad are getting their vaccine shots, and in fact, the North's officials met with Chinese diplomats in Pyeongyang this week, for the first time since pandemic broke out.
The North may further resume flights, starting with China and Russia with a reopening of its borders inevitable with the reclusive state struggling with internal matters like food security.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.