Miss Trump's Foreign Policy Yet? North Korea Dismisses Attempt of Contact from U.S. as a 'Cheap Trick'

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Posted: Mar 17, 2021 9:25 PM
Miss Trump's Foreign Policy Yet? North Korea Dismisses Attempt of Contact from U.S. as a 'Cheap Trick'

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Here's something which ought to make you wish President Donald Trump were still in office. President Joe Biden has been trying to make contact with North Korea. Key word "trying." Reuters, which has been following the communication, or lack thereof, reported that the dictatorship dismissed the attempts as a "cheap trick." 

Reuters reported, which in local Seoul time was Thursday, that:

A top North Korean diplomat acknowledged on Thursday that the United States had recently tried to initiate contact, but blasted the attempts as a “cheap trick” that would never be answered until Washington dropped hostile policies.

The statement by Choe Son Hui, first vice minister of foreign affairs for North Korea, is the first formal rejection of tentative approaches by the new U.S. administration under President Joe Biden, who took office in January.

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“What has been heard from the U.S. since the emergence of the new regime is only lunatic theory of ‘threat from North Korea’ and groundless rhetoric about ‘complete denuclearisation,’ Choe said.

The reporting also noted that "The White House said earlier this month it had reached out to North Korea, but received no response, and did not elaborate," which isn't exactly shocking, 

Last week, Reuters also published "Exclusive: North Korea unresponsive to behind-the-scenes Biden administration outreach - U.S. official," on attempts that had been going on since mid-February. The reporting makes it clear to see that the Biden administration was not likely to advertise such attempts.

The disclosure of the so-far unsuccessful U.S. outreach, which has not been previously reported, raises questions about how Biden will address mounting tensions with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

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The Biden administration has so far been cautious in publicly describing its approach to North Korea, saying it is carrying out a comprehensive policy review following former President Donald Trump’s unprecedented engagement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In contrast, North Korea said the letter Trump wrote their leader, Kim Jong-un was "excellent."

Reporting also indicated that "During his election campaign, Biden described Kim as a “thug” and said he would only meet him “on the condition that he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity." 

Newsweek's reporting, along with a headline that "North Korea to Talk to Biden On Own Terms," mentioned that Choe:

warned opportunities such as top-level bilateral summits in Singapore and Hanoi made available to former President Donald Trump as he unsuccessfully pursued peace with Pyongyang would not be offered to Biden, and that sustaining a tough line toward the nuclear-armed nation would only beget bad results.

While Newsweek discussed Trump's efforts in such a way, insight from the Wilson Center, the Heritage Foundation, and National Intelligence Officer Markus Garlauskas indicates it's a much more involving conversation. 

Even CNN analysis from Stephen Collinson indicates "Biden needs a breakthrough with Iran and North Korea" and that "driving a tough initial bargain could hike the price for dialogue higher than Biden can politically pay," when it comes to two-thirds of the "axis of evil."

The best headline on the situation before this update came from Alexandra Ma for Business Insider: "The Biden administration has been quietly trying to reach out to North Korea, but keeps getting ignored."