December 04, 2019 13:55
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has told officials that they should "expect nothing" from South Korea and ordered them not to "beg" the South, according to sources.
Since the U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi collapsed in February, Kim has gone into an almighty sulk because he apparently blames South Korea for persuading him to get his hopes up that sanctions would be lifted in return for nothing or very little.
The North has conducted 13 multiple rocket launcher and shirt-range missile tests that were clearly aimed at South Korea, and Kim demanded that South Korea demolish "all the unsightly facilities" built by the South in the North's Mt. Kumgang resort.
Even offers of food aid were rudely rebuffed.
Kim reportedly gets angry every time he is presented with a report about South Korea. One source said Tuesday Kim commented during a briefing on aid plans by South Korea and international aid agencies that NGOs "lack substance and brag a lot" and ordered officials not take anything from South Korea "even if we starve to death."
One diplomatic source said, "Kim seems to feel that he was deceived by President Moon Jae-in." Three inter-Korean summits last year persuaded Kim that he had a firm pledge from Moon that joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises would be permanently stopped and American strategic military assets would no longer be deployed on the Korean Peninsula.
But only some joint drills were either cut back in size or canceled, while the South purchased cutting-edge F-35A fighter jets from the U.S., causing Kim to feel "betrayed."
One intelligence source said, "Last year when relations with the U.S. were good, North Korea's propaganda machine attributed everything to Kim's 'brave decision.'" But after the Hanoi summit in February fell through, the source said, North Korea is "putting all the blame on the Moon administration."
Another source said, "Kim has a lot of resentment toward the [South] Korean government for setting aside $8 million in humanitarian aid [through international aid agencies] and delaying even that for two years, while purchasing F-35 stealth fighters that cost $100 million a piece."
Kim apparently told officials in charge of dealing with South Korea to "sever all ties" with the South and avoid meeting them, blaming Seoul for trying to "save face" by spending only a little bit of money on him.
One researcher at a state-run think tank in Seoul said, "North Korea now insists in communicating only in writing instead of face to face about the Mt. Kumgang facilities because Kim has turned against the South."
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