This two-track approach, coupling diplomacy and militaristic threats, has been used by Kim before. But the importance of these remarks might not be in their familiar content but rather their timing, according to Cristina Varriale, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London think tank. "For quite a few months now the DPRK has been relatively silent on their foreign policy direction, especially in relation to the U.S. — but these comments break that silence," Varriale said, using the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. That might be because Kim has now "seen the new Biden administration settle in" and begin to sketch out its approach, Varriale added. "North Korea is now able and willing to begin publicizing its position again."