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International - June 18, 2021

Kim Jong-un prepares for ‘dialogue and confrontation’ with the US

Kim Jong-un prepares for 'dialogue and confrontation' with the US

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country needs to prepare for both “dialogue and confrontation” with the US, and “especially to get fully prepared for confrontation”.

This marks the first time Mr. Kim has directly commented on President Joe Biden’s administration.

North Korea had earlier snubbed efforts by the new US government to establish diplomatic communication.

The US has been calling for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

But Pyongyang has repeatedly refused, and the United Nations Security Council has imposed strict economic sanctions on the East Asian state for its nuclear tests.

Mr. Kim made his latest remarks at a meeting of senior leaders which started this week in the capital Pyongyang.

He said they needed “especially to get fully prepared for confrontation in order to protect the dignity of our state and its interests for independent development”, as well as to guarantee a peaceful environment and North Korea’s security.

He also said North Korea would “sharply and promptly” react to any developments and “concentrate efforts on taking stable control of the situation on the Korean peninsula”.

His latest comments come days after he formally acknowledged that North Korea was facing concerns over food shortages.

Earlier this week leaders from the G7 nations, including Mr. Biden, called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile program and resume dialogue.

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