North Korea yesterday accused US President Joe Biden of pursuing a hostile policy, dismissing “spurious” US diplomacy and warning of a response.
Biden had said on Wednesday that his administration would deal with the threat posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear program “through diplomacy as well as stern deterrence.”
The White House on Friday said that the president was open to negotiations with North Korea on denuclearization following the completion of a policy review, but Pyongyang said Biden had made a “big blunder.”
“His statement clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] as it had been done by the US for over half a century,” Kwon Jung-gun, a North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, said in a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“The US-claimed ‘diplomacy’ is a spurious signboard for covering up its hostile acts, and ‘deterrence’ touted by it is just a means for posing nuclear threats to the DPRK,” Kwon said. “Now that what the keynote of the US new DPRK policy has become clear [sic], we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures.”
The White House on Friday said that its goal remains “the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Washington would not “focus on achieving a grand bargain,” apparently referring to the kind of deal that former US president Donald Trump suggested was possible when he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Neither would the White House follow the more standoffish approach espoused by former US president Barack Obama, she added.
In a separate statement through the KCNA yesterday, North Korea also accused the US of insulting its leadership and COVID-19 measures, referring to a US Department of State news release issued on Wednesday.
Department spokesman Ned Price had issued a statement criticizing North Korea’s human rights abuses and draconian COVID-19 curbs, describing it as “one of the most repressive and totalitarian states in the world.”
“The ‘human rights issue’ touted by the US is a political trick designed to destroy the ideology and social system in the DPRK,” the North Korean foreign ministry said.
In a third statement issued yesterday, Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, lashed out at South Korea over a recent anti-Pyongyang leaflet campaign by a defector group.
Activist groups have long sent flyers critical of the North Korean leadership across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the peninsula.
The leaflets have infuriated Pyongyang, which last year demanded that Seoul take action and blew up an inter-Korean liaison office on its side of the border.
The South Korean parliament rapidly passed a law criminalizing the leaflet campaigns in December last year, but a defector group said it flew 500,000 leaflets near the DMZ last week in defiance of the law.
Kim Yo-jong blamed South Korean authorities for not stopping them.
“We regard the maneuvers committed by the human wastes in the south as a serious provocation against our state and will look into corresponding action,” she said.
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