Report: Kim Jong Un pressured the United States during G20 summit

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  July 19, 2017 at 1:57 PM
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July 19 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un ordered North Korean embassies to place "psychological pressure" on the United States during the G20 Summit, according to a Japanese press report.

The Asahi Shimbun reported Wednesday the ordinance was sent to diplomatic missions and was aimed at decoupling the United States and South Korea, and to get Washington to agree to recognize Pyongyang as a nuclear weapons state.

A source familiar with North Korea's internal politics told a Seoul-based Asahi correspondent the message called on North Korean diplomats to "bargain with the United States," following the Fourth of July launch of the Hwasong-14 missile.

Washington has refused to hold high-level talks unless North Korea agrees to pursue denuclearization.

That policy, however, has not deterred Kim from seeking ultimate recognition as a nuclear power, a goal the state is pursuing through a strategy of building pressure and by attempting to convince Washington denuclearization is no longer an option, according to the report.

Kim's missive also ordered his subordinates to work toward the settlement of a U.S.-North Korea peace treaty that could replace the existing Armistice Agreement signed in 1953.

Kim is also operating under the assumption the U.S.-South Korea alliance could decline owing to a different approach to Pyongyang being pursued by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the report states.

"The period of the Moon Jae-in government is the 'golden opportunity' for us," Kim's message reportedly read, according to the Asahi. "We must realize the task of unification before opposing powers make a disturbance."

Moon has condemned North Korea's weapons development and has called for the "freeze of nuclear and missile capabilities all the way to complete dismantlement," but has supported humanitarian aid to the North.

Seoul has also suggested military talks for this week, but the North has yet to respond.

Pyongyang has threatened to take up "follow-up measures" if the United Nations Security Council decides to impose additional sanctions in response to the test of the Hwasong-14, which North Korea has claimed is an intercontinental ballistic missile.

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