NKorea warns US about “very serious situation” due to Biden’s speech News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea on Sunday warned that the United States would face a “very serious situation” and said President Joe Biden “made a big mistake” in his recent speech, calling the North a security threat.
Last week, Biden, in his first address to Congress, called North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear programs a “serious threat” to American and global security and said he would work with allies to address these issues through diplomacy and brutal deterrence.
“His statement clearly reflects his intention to continue to pursue a hostile policy toward the DPRK, as the United States has done for more than half a century,” North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Kwon Cheng Gong said in a statement. The DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of the North.
“Certainly the US chief executive has made a big mistake in the light of the modern point of view,” Kwon said. “Now that the leitmotif of the new US policy in the DPRK has become clear, we will be forced to insist on appropriate measures, and in time the US will find itself in a very difficult situation.”
Kwon still did not specify what steps North Korea would take, and his statement could be seen as an attempt to put pressure on the Biden administration, which is shaping its policy in North Korea.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Sunday that US policy “is not aimed at hostility, it is about solutions” and “ultimately achieving the full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
“And we are ready to engage in diplomacy to achieve this ultimate goal, but we are working on practical measures that can help us make progress towards that goal,” Sullivan told ABC this week.
On Friday, the White House said administration officials had completed a review of U.S. policy toward North Korea, saying Biden planned to move away from the approaches of his last two predecessors in an attempt to halt North Korea’s nuclear program. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not explain the findings of the review, but suggested that the administration would look for a middle ground between Donald Trump’s “big deal” approaches and Barack Obama’s “strategic patience.”
Kwon’s statement did not mention Psaka’s comments.
After a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in 2016-17, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un began a diplomatic meeting with Trump about the future of his growing nuclear arsenal. But that diplomacy remains deadlocked for about two years because of disagreements over how much sanctions North Korea could receive in exchange for limited denuclearization steps.
In January, Kim threatened to increase his nuclear arsenal and create more high-tech weapons aimed at the continental United States, saying the fate of bilateral ties would depend on whether to abandon hostile policies. In March, it tested short-range ballistic missiles for the first time in a year, although it still maintains a moratorium on launches of larger weapons.
“If Pyongyang agrees to talks at the working level, the starting point for the talks will be the freezing of North Korean tests and the development of nuclear capabilities and delivery systems,” said Leif-Eric Isley, a professor at IHHA University in Seoul. “If, on the other hand, Kim avoids diplomacy and chooses provocative trials, Washington is likely to expand sanctions and military exercises with allies.”
Also Sunday, an unidentified North Korean foreign ministry official promised to respond decisively, separately to a recent State Department statement that would promote “accountability to the Kim regime” for its “outrageous human rights record.” He called the statement a preparation for a “showdown with us.”
Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo-chon, also toppled South Korea over anti-Pyongyang leaflets that crossed the border by a group of North Korean defectors in the south. The group’s leader, Pak Sang Haq, said on Friday that he had sent 500,000 leaflets in a balloon last week, in violation of South Korea’s new, controversial law criminalizing such actions.
“We consider the maneuvers committed by human waste in the south to be a serious provocation against our state, and we will consider appropriate measures,” Kim Jong Un said in a statement.
She accused the South Korean government of “winking” leaflets. The Seoul Reunification Ministry responded later Sunday, saying it opposes any action that creates tensions on the Korean Peninsula and will seek to improve ties with North Korea.
Isley said North Korean statements by Kwon and Kim Yo-Jong show that “Pyongyang is trying to kill the wedge between South Korea and the United States” ahead of a summit on May 21 between Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
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