KEY POINTS

  • Pyongyang said Kim "made a detailed analysis" of Biden’s North Korea policy
  • However, analysts say he may be open to dialogues to win outside aid 
  • Kim had earlier spoken about the "tense" food situation in North Korea 

North Korea may be battling a "tense" food situation triggered by the pandemic and last year's typhoon, but its leader Kim Jong-un is rather focused on confronting the Biden administration. 

State media reports said Kim, during a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Thursday, "made a detailed analysis" of Biden administration’s North Korea policy, "clarified appropriate strategic and tactical counteraction" and "stressed the need to get prepared for both dialogue and confrontation, especially to get fully prepared for confrontation," according to The New York Times. 

This comes as the White House announced in April that it would pursue "a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy" with North Korea​. While the details of Biden's North Korea policy aren't out, there are suggestions that Biden will seek "a middle ground between Trump’s direct meetings with Kim and former President Barack Obama’s strategic patience to curb Kim’s nuclear program," said ABC News.

Earlier this week, the Group of Seven (G7) nations had also called for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, urging the North to abandon its nuclear program and return to talks. In January,  Kim had threatened to expand the country's nuclear arsenal if Washington doesn't alter its "hostile policy" towards North Korea. 

But, analysts who spoke to ABC News don't rule out the possibility of Kim taking up talks. According to Cheong Seong-Chang at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea, Kim is "likely return to talks but it won’t accept a call for immediate, complete denuclearization." He added that Kim may agree to "partially reduce its nuclear arsenal in phased steps if the Biden administration relaxes sanctions."

A few analysts in ​South Korea too think the food crisis may prompt Kim to start a dialogue to win outside aid, says The New York Times.

In a rare admission Tuesday, Kim had said the people's "food situation is now getting tense". State media reported that the country’s agricultural sector "failed to fulfill its grain production plan" due to typhoon damage last year. 

A report by NK News said the food prices have spiked in North Korea with a kilogram of bananas costing $45. 

"In general, everything went crazy high. Some items jumped five times — some to ten," the report said about the recent price changes in Pyongyang. Due to the pandemic, the country closed its borders, seriously impacting its trade with China, a close ally. 

Though former President Donald Trump held meetings with Kim in 2018-19 about North Korea's advancing nuclear arsenal, the negotiations didn't yield much as Trump rejected Kim's calls for extensive sanction relief in return for a partial surrender of his nuclear capability.

North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un, says it will ignore any attempts by the United States to contact Pyongyang until Washington withdraws its 'hostile' policy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Photo: KCNA VIA KNS / STR