Despite the harsh words released by North Korea in the recently concluded Workers’ Party congress, the unification ministry on Thursday saw a little light, saying that the North seemed to have left some room for progress in inter-Korean affairs.
The ministry, in its assessment of the party congress, said that the North “called for a sincere change” regarding the attitude of the South’s capital and encouraged the neighbor country to launch inter-Korean accords.
However, during the congress, North Korea cleared that any progress in its affairs with the South is based on conditions.
North Korea said the South should conclude “all hostile acts” and urged its neighbor country to stop the collaborative military exercises with the U.S. The South, however, may probably find the conditions difficult to apply.
“(North Korea) called for a sincere change in our attitude and solving fundamental problems, signaling improvements in inter-Korean relations,” according to the ministry.
Furthermore, the ministry looked at the North’s manifestations as a “a new starting point” and “peace and prosperity”. It said that the North seemed to have aired messages that hint room for improvement in inter-Korean relations.
The ties between the North and the South have been shelved since North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and then U.S. President Donald Trump failed to reach a deal in 2019.
The tensions in the Korean border have intensified after the North has destructed a liaison office due to its anger over the anti-Pyongyang leafleting.
Meanwhile, the unification ministry aired hopes that the North concurred in principle with its Korean neighbor on the essence of continuing the inter-Korean ties.
The ministry also stated that the North did “not completely shut the door for dialogue” as it seemed to soften its message toward the U.S.
To recall, the North Korean leader tagged the U.S. as its country’s “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to bolster the North’s nuclear capabilities.
“The North appears to have notified that it will employ a strategy of both toughness and moderateness, resuming talks with the North or staging provocations according to the Biden administration’s policy line on North Korea,” it said.
On the other hand, the ministry said the leader’s influential sister Kim Yo-jong will probably uphold her status as a “key aide” to her brother in inter-Korean affairs and ties with the U.S., despite her demotion during the party congress.
Kim Yo-jong was not included as a member of the party’s politburo. She was also not counted as an alternate member, which triggered speculations on her probable demotion.