SEOUL (Reuters) - Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea’a leader, said another summit with the United States would only be useful for Washington at this point, but added that her country had no intention of “threatening the U.S.,” according to state media.
Kim said in her personal opinion, another summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump might not happen this year “but we never know,” news agency KCNA reported on Friday.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday he was “very hopeful” about resuming talks with North Korea and appeared to leave open the possibility of another summit between the countries’ leaders.
Kim Yo Jong’s comments came a day after the U.S. point man for North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, wrapped up a three-day visit to Seoul where he rejected speculation he was seeking to meet North Korean officials during his trip, but said the United States was open to talks.
Recent North Korean statements have rejected the idea of new talks, and Kim reiterated Pyongyang’s objections to what it sees as hostile and self-serving policies by the United States, including continuing to impose sanctions.
“We are not saying we will never denuclearize, but we are making it clear that we cannot do it now,” Kim Yo Jong said.
Her comments were couched in a somewhat softer tone than previous statements, and she even noted she had received special permission to view recordings of the recent Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in the United States.
“We have no intention of threatening the U.S.,” she said. “As long as they don’t touch us and hurt us, everything will flow as is.”
Kim said her brother had instructed her to pass on greetings to Trump and send him wishes for success. But even if the relationship between the leaders is good, Washington will return to being hostile, she said.
Kim Jong Un and Trump have met three times, but failed to find a compromise over the North’s nuclear weapons programme, or the international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.
Reporting by Sangmi Cha and Josh Smith; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tom Brown
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