The younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnUS began outreach to North Korea last month: reports US, South Korea scaling back military drills Russian diplomats leave North Korea by handcar due to coronavirus restrictions MORE fired back at the White House on Monday with a vague warning about what would happen if the Biden administration got off on the wrong foot with Pyongyang.
CNN reported that Kim Yo Jong, who officially holds a high-ranking position in North Korea’s only political party, issued a statement warning the White House against “causing a stink with its first step,” an apparent reference to any attempt by the Biden administration to reverse moves made by President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Oregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debate Juan Williams: Trump’s jealous rants can’t hide his failures MORE in his diplomatic overtures to North Korea.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” she said, according to CNN, which cited the North Korean state news agency. “If it wants to sleep in peace for [the] coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
Her remarks came hours after White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden: Cuomo ‘investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us’ Gun control groups focus all efforts on Senate Cats, dogs, birds, horses and even a raccoon: A brief history of White House pets MORE told reporters at Monday’s press briefing that the U.S. has had little to no official contact with North Korea’s government since before Biden took office in January.
“Diplomacy is always our goal. Our goal is to reduce the risk of escalation. But, to date, we have not received any response,” Psaki said.
Psaki added that it had been more than a year “without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the U.S. to engage.”
The message from Kim Jong Un’s sibling comes nearly one year after rampant speculation of the leader’s grave illness, including reports of his death. But earlier this year, speculation then swirled about her status in politics, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. and North Korea experienced a period of unprecedented contact under the Trump administration, with the former president becoming the first to step foot on North Korean soil during a visit to the Demilitarized Zone. The conversations between the two governments quickly evaporated, however, and no major progress was made by the U.S. towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Last month it was revealed that Trump offered to let Kim Jong Un fly home to North Korea aboard Air Force One following a meeting between the pair in Hanoi, Vietnam, an offer Kim reportedly turned down at the time.