North Korea has warned that the United States will face a very difficult situation as President Joe Biden made a blunder in his recent speech, calling North a security threat and revealing his intention to maintain a hostile policy toward it.
“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,” Kuon Jong Gong, a senior North Korean foreign ministry official, said in a statement. The DPRK means the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of the North.
“It is certain that the chief executive of the United States has made a big blunder in light of today’s point of view,” Kuon said. “Now that the basic text of the DPRK’s new policy has become clear, we will be forced to insist on appropriate measures, and in time the United States will find itself in a very difficult situation.”
Kuon has not yet specified what steps North Korea will take, and his statement could be seen as an attempt to put pressure on the Biden administration as it shapes its policy in North Korea.
Kuon’s statement did not mention Psaki’s comments.
After conducting a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in 2016-17, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un launched diplomacy at the top with Trump on the future of his growing nuclear arsenal. But that diplomacy has stalled for about two years because of differences in the degree of sanctions easing that North Korea can gain in exchange for limited denuclearization steps.
In January, Kim threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal and build more high-tech weapons aimed at the continental United States, saying the fate of bilateral ties would depend on whether he renounced his hostile policies.
Despite testing its short-range ballistic missile in March, the first launch in a year, North Korea has maintained a self-imposed moratorium on long-range nuclear and missile tests since it entered into talks with Trump three years ago.
“If Pyongyang agrees to working-level talks, the starting point for the talks will be to freeze North Korean tests and develop nuclear capabilities and delivery systems,” said Leif-Eric Isley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. “If, on the other hand, Kim abandons diplomacy and stops provocative tests, Washington is likely to expand sanctions and military exercises with allies.”
On Sunday, Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo-Yong, hit South Korea over recent leaflets against Pyongyang sent by balloons across the border from a group of deserters in the South. The group’s leader, Park Sang-hak, said on Friday that he had sent 500,000 leaflets last week, in violation of a new South Korean law criminalizing such actions.
“We consider the maneuvers carried out by human waste in the south as a serious provocation against our country and we will consider the relevant actions,” Kim Yo-Jong said in a statement. She accused the South Korean government of “winking” at the leaflets.
Earlier, South Korean authorities said they were checking to see if Park had indeed released the leaflets and that they would handle the case in accordance with the law.
Isley said two back-to-back statements in North Korea on Sunday showed that “Pyongyang is trying to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States” ahead of the May 21st summit between Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.