North Korea’s ruler does not rule out the prospect of dialog with the United States, but hardly closes the door to war either.
On Friday, Kim Jong-un said his country needed to prepare for "both dialog and confrontation" with the US under President Joe Biden, the official KCNA agency reported.
He made the remarks while outlining the "policy tendency of the newly emerged US administration."
Kim underlined that Pyongyang had to "especially get fully prepared for confrontation in order to protect the dignity of our state" and reliably guarantee a "peaceful environment."
Kim also addressed the situation in the region, where the US banks on its strong alliance with South Korea and Japan. He "called for sharply and promptly reacting to and coping with the fast-changing situation and concentrating efforts on taking stable control of the situation on the Korean Peninsula."
Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump took unprecedented steps towards apparently fraternizing the North by initiating several rounds of dialog with it, and even walking a number of steps into the country alongside Kim.
However, Washington blew, what Pyongyang called, a “golden opportunity” at mending the situation by insisting too much on the North’s denuclearization. The emphasis prompted Pyongyang to discredit all the steps that had been taken by Trump as ingenuine and go back to its fiery discourse towards Washington.
Since Biden’s inauguration, Pyongyang has denounced the new president for pursuing a "hostile policy" and saying it was a "big blunder" for him to say he would deal with the “threat” posed by the North's nuclear program "through diplomacy as well as stern deterrence."
It adopted the position after Biden distanced itself from Trump’s ingratiating ways, and renewed focus on the North’s nuclear work.
Biden has said he "would not do what had been done in the recent past."
"I would not give him all he (Kim)'s looking for -- international recognition," Biden said, referring to Trump’s approach.
He has also said he "would not meet" Kim unless there was a concrete plan for negotiating on Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.