Amid the nuclear talks deadlock with the United States, the state media and propaganda efforts of North Korea have now been focusing on the prospect of a long confrontation with the US. According to a North Korean local media outlet, the propaganda effort has included calls for the North Korean citizens to 'breakthrough barriers' and 'strengthen the country'. Kim Jong Un's government has also been working hard in the past weeks with the help of state media, propaganda posters and performances to warn the public of a bumpy road ahead under US and international pressure.
Earlier, North Korea has also reportedly said that it is no longer bound by commitments to halt nuclear and missile testing. They have also blamed US for failing to meet the year-end deadline for it to show more flexibility in the nuclear talks and its 'brutal and inhumane' sanctions. Recently North Korea also appointed a former defence commander as its new foreign minister as he was involved in several negotiations with the United States.
According to media reports, the latest appointment can have a huge impact on the stalled nuclear talks as Ri Son Gwon is known for his confrontational role during negotiations. Though he has held high-level talks with South Korea, he has never dealt with nuclear issues that have caused a strenuous relation with Washington.
On December 11, US Representative to the United Nations Kelly Craft, while speaking at the Security Council, warned North Korea against further missile and nuclear tests. She had raised concerns about North’s indication of intercontinental ballistic missile tests which will bring the US in its range. Craft said that the US has sought to engage in “robust diplomacy with the DPRK”, but the signs were deeply troubling.
“Let me be clear, we have not asked North Korea to do everything, before we do anything. We are prepared to be flexible, but we cannot solve this problem alone,” remarked the Ambassador after the Council meeting. Craft suggested North Korea avoid provocations and engage in dialogue. “Peace is a better way, and peace can only be achieved by doing this together,” she said.