Kim Jong Un is giving up on hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump will lift sanctions anytime soon.
Alongside the North Korean leader’s latest saber-rattling this week was a stunning admission: Efforts to engage the U.S. had failed. Kim’s plan now is to find a way to survive under crushing economic sanctions while building an even stronger nuclear deterrent to force Washington to compromise.
“We can never sell our dignity, which we have so far defended as something as valuable as our own lives, in the hope of a brilliant transformation,” Kim said, according to excerpts from an unusual seven-hour speech this week to party leaders in Pyongyang. “The DPRK-U.S. standoff, which has lasted for generations, has now been compressed into a clear standoff between self-reliance and sanctions.”