North Korea offers possible olive branch to US

No. 2 leader says nation ready to improve relations with countries that "treat us friendly."

By
February 15, 2009 10:14
2 minute read.
North Korea offers possible olive branch to US

Kim Jong Il 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

North Korea is ready to improve relations with countries that "treat us friendly," the communist country's No. 2 leader said Sunday ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Asia. The remark by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state, could be an olive branch to Washington before Clinton's trip - even though it came amid reports the North is gearing up to test-fire a long-range missile in an apparent attempt to grab President Barack Obama's attention. Clinton was scheduled to depart Sunday on a trip to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China. "We will develop relations with countries that treat us friendly," Kim told a national meeting held as part of celebrations on the eve of the 67th birthday of leader Kim Jong Il, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency. North Korea has reportedly moved a long-range Taepodong-2 missile to a launch site on the country's northeastern coast. The missile is the country's most advanced, and is believed capable of reaching US territory. South Korean media have said a launch could come this month. Analysts say North Korea's saber rattling appears to be an attempt to grab Obama's attention so as to start negotiations where it can extract concessions, since the new US administration seemed more interested in other issues such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Seoul and Washington have issued repeated warnings to North Korea over a possible missile launch. On Friday, Clinton urged North Korea not to take any provocative actions, saying Washington is willing to normalize ties with it in return for nuclear disarmament. Her trip comes as North Korea has heightened tensions with South Korea, declaring all peace accords with Seoul dead and suggesting an armed naval clash with the southern neighbor in anger over the hard-line stance South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has taken toward it. Despite his talk of ties with "friendly" countries, Kim Yong Nam on Sunday kept up the North's near-daily harangue against Seoul. "All Koreans in the North, the South and overseas should rise up to hand an iron hammer blow to anti-unification forces in South Korea that are bringing the catastrophe of a nuclear war," he told the national meeting. Relations between the two Koreas have been frayed since Lee took office a year ago with pledges to take a harder line on the North. The two Koreas remain technically in a state of conflict as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Spokesperson Heather Nauert (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
December 12, 2018
Effort to thwart Iranian missiles 'futile' so far, Pompeo says

By MICHAEL WILNER