North Korean leaders are nervous about President-elect Joe Biden’s forthcoming administration and are waiting to see what his policies are before adjusting strategy, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed Friday by their nation’s intelligence agents.
The totalitarian state run by Kim Jong Un has both “hope and nervousness” about Biden, said Kim Byung-kee, a former spy for South Korea who is a member of the National Assembly and its intelligence committee.
“The North is showing both hope and nervousness,” the South Korean legislator said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The North is planning to wait for the new U.S. administration to reveal its North Korea policy and coordinate its U.S. policy according to that.”
Fellow lawmaker Cho Tae-yong, who formerly worked in the South Korean intelligence services, said, “North Korea is likely buying time,”
“It has to deal with preventive restrictions in place to guard against coronavirus, which has dealt a major blow to its economy,” Cho said.
The Trump administration began with heightened tensions over North Korean missile tests. President Trump nicknamed the portly 30-something dictator “Little Rocket Man” and warned him that North Korean threats “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Trump and Kim subsequently met in June 2018 for a dramatic Singapore conference on nuclear disarmament. Trump later met with Kim in Vietnam and at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, but did not ink a final nuclear deal or ease up on harsh economic sanctions.
Trump and Kim traded letters and the president once humorously said “we fell in love.” Kim wished Trump well when he contracted COVID-19 last month.
The nuclear-armed dictator was notably less respectful toward former President Barack Obama. The state-run Korean Central News Agency repeatedly used racist attacks and called Obama a “monkey.”
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