North Korea is changing its narrative of the Hanoi summit. An article published on page six of Workers’ Party paper Rodong Sinmun stated the world was holding the United States responsible for the end of the bilateral summit without an agreement.
“Those inside and outside North Korea who couldn’t hope enough for good results at the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi are unanimously holding the United States responsible for the end of the summit without an agreement, while being unable to hide their regrets,” the Rodong stated on Friday.
The newspaper also stated the “whole world hopes the peace process in the Korean Peninsula will flow smoothly.”
The admission of the summit’s abrupt end is a first; as recently as Thursday North Korea was stating negotiations are feasible with a “fair proposal, appropriate attitude and will to solve the problem.”
The article may reflect the changing reality of North Korea, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap. Ordinary North Koreans have more access to outside world information, and they continue to move across the China-North Korea border. State authorities may have decided to report factual events for practical reasons, according to Yonhap’s analysis.
As speculation continues over what will happen after the Hanoi summit, South Korea appointed a new unification minister, Kim Yeon-chul, president of government-run think tank Korea Institute for National Unification. JTBC reported Friday Kim Yeon-chul seeks to pursue the resumption of U.S.-North Korea negotiations.