North Korean media silent on potential talks with Trump

North Korean media silent on potential talks with Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with South Korean envoys in 2016. Photo by Blue House (Republic of Korea) via Wikimedia Commons

More than a week has passed since US president Donald Trump declared that he has accepted an offer to talk with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. The proposed talks had been relayed to Trump via South Korean officials visiting the US, saying that Kim Jon Un had personally made the offer.

Following this news, the prospect of a Trump-Kim negotiation quickly became worldwide headlines. The story seemed to be everywhere, except for North Korea.

The North Korean official state media has not made any mention of the potential talks. The most recent story by the state media on the United States does not mention any negotiations, instead running a commentary saying that the USA is Earth’s “worst human rights abuser”.

The state media in North Korea is notorious for the high level of criticism for the United States and its Western allies. The North Korean new states openly mock the United States and accuse it of hypocrisy regarding human rights abuses, an issue that North Korea has been historically accused of.

This kind of commentary is not unusual for North Korea, suggesting that nothing has changed as a result of potential talks with Trump. Then again, North Korea has shown a history of being slow to report on US event, taking over a week to comment on Trump’s election win in 2016.

Several analysts have reported at North Korea’s media silence isn’t of any real relevance, saying that it takes them a long time to craft a public message regarding talks with the outside world. A spokesman for the South Korea unification ministry said that it seemed North Korea needs to “take a cautious approach in setting its stance”.

Despite this, the lack of media coverage from the North Korean government may suggest that the majority of its citizens are unaware of the potential talks with Donald Trump. Inside sources in North Korea have told Japanese reporters that they had no knowledge of Kim’s invitation to Trump.

Not long following Trump’s announcement of the proposed talks, North Koreas United Nations ambassador, Pak Song Il, said that Kim Jon Un had made a “courageous” move to open talks with the US. He went on to say that negotiation had always been North Korea’s “principal position”.

With United States and North Korean tensions being on high alert almost since the day Trump came into office these proposed talks show a glimmer of hope for diplomacy in the region. Many have said that Trump has a disadvantage in any proposed talks, recently revealing his distaste for US military forces in South Korea.