Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, said Friday that Pyongyang is open to resuming talks with South Korea if certain conditions are met.
Kim’s calls for talks came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in addressed the UN General Assembly and called for an official end to the Korean War. Kim said declaring an end to the war without other negotiations could lead to future issues.
“Under such a situation it does not make any sense to declare the end of the war with all the things, which may become a seed of a war between parties that have been at odds for more than half a century, left intact,” she said.
Kim said to hold talks, the South has to drop its “double-dealing attitudes, illogical prejudice, bad habits and hostile stand of justifying their own acts while faulting our just exercise of the right to self-defense.” Last week, both North and South Korea carried out missile tests.
“Only when such a precondition is met, would it be possible to sit face to face and declare the significant termination of war and discuss the issue of the north-south relations and the future of the Korean peninsula,” Kim said.
It’s likely that the North would try to negotiate some relief from US sanctions if it were to enter talks with the South. The Biden administration has said it’s open to dialogue with Pyongyang, but it comes with calls for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which is a non-starter for negotiations. A more realistic approach could be to offer sanctions relief in exchange for a freeze in Pyongyang’s nuclear program.