Will Kim Jong-un and Joe Biden talk? North Korea leader's 'cold shoulder' sharp contrast to bromance with Trump
A Joe Biden administration official revealed on Saturday that North Korea is yet to respond to White House's "diplomatic outreach". The official, whose identity remains unknown, said that efforts to reach out to North Korea had been made "through several channels starting in mid-February, including in New York.” The official added, "To date, we have not received any response from Pyongyang."
While the White House has been unsuccessful in reaching Kim, the Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are still to meet with officials in Japan and South Korea, as per the US Department of Defense. The official who revealed Kim's 'cold shoulder' response to Reuters added that this news "raises questions about how Biden will address mounting tensions with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs."
Trump mocks Biden while praising 'sharp and smart' Putin, Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping: 'Joe has lost it'
Presidential Debate 2020: Biden likens Kim Jong-un to Hitler, Internet wary of North Korea war if ex-VP wins
Does Kim hate Joe Biden?
Kim's relationship with POTUS is starkly different from the one he had with ex-president Donald Trump. Even though the former US president and Kim have had their ups and downs, their reported "bromance" wasn't hard to miss. Back in August 2019, Trump had revealed that he had received a "very beautiful letter" from the North Korean supremo. Ex-POTUS had also offered Kim a ride on Air Force One after their summit in Vietnam.
Kim's actions were reciprocated as well, when in October 2020 Trump mocked Biden as he proceeded to praise Kim. Addressing a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, he spoke of Biden's mental decline, saying, "Joe is shot, OK, whether you like it or not. We can all be nice, it's going to be my turn some day. It's even going to be your turn some day, my friends, but you know when it is your turn, you can't be president. One thing I've learned, President XI of China's one hundred percent. Putin of Russia, 100 percent." He then added, "Kim Jong-un — by the way, what happened to that war we were supposed to be in? Kim Jong-un of North Korea — 100 percent."
This is not to say that Kim and Trump didn't have their bad days. In 2018, Trump had mocked the North Korean leader, tweeting, "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times. Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
“A nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat,” Kim had said. Furthermore, in 2017 when tensions were escalated between the two countires, Kim called Trump "mentally deranged" and a "frightened dog."
Kim's relationship with Biden on the other hand is seemingly off to begin with. During the final presidential debate in Nashville, Tennesse in October 2020, Trump had defended his relationship with the North Korean leader saying, "North Korea, we’re not in a war, we have a good relationship, You know, people don’t understand — having a good relationship with leaders of other countries is a good thing." In a move that was scrutinized by some, Biden had likened Kim to German dictator Adolf Hitler, saying, "That's like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe." Even during his election campaign, POTUS called Kim a "thug" and explained that he would only meet the leader "on the condition that he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity.”
Trump on relationship with Kim Jong-un: "Having a good relationship with leaders of other countries is a good thing."— Axios (@axios) October 23, 2020
Biden: "That's like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe." pic.twitter.com/dSMi48WIgI
Despite their relationship, Trump was unsuccessful in convincing North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons, but the official from the current Biden administration said that there has been no "active dialogue" between the two countries "for more than a year." This, the official said, included the end of Trump's time in office and was "despite multiple attempts during that time by the United States to engage.” As of now, there are no reports as to why Kim has not responded to Biden, but from their interaction or lack thereof in the past, the North Korean leader's cold response to Biden reaching out isn't too surprising.