© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US and North Korean national flags can be seen at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore
By Josh Smith
SEOUL (Reuters) – Recent comments from US President Joe Biden and members of his administration show that he intends to maintain hostile policies towards North Korea that require a corresponding response from Pyongyang, North Korean officials said on Sunday.
Officials’ comments came in a series of statements by state news agency KCNA after the White House said Friday that US officials had completed a month-long review of North Korean policies.
In a statement, a State Department spokesman accused Washington of having insulted the dignity of the country’s top leadership by criticizing the human rights situation in North Korea.
The human rights criticism is a provocation that shows that the United States is “preparing for a full showdown with North Korea” and will be responded to accordingly, the unnamed spokesman said.
In a separate statement, US State Department director general Kwon Jong Gun quoted Biden’s first keynote address to Congress on Wednesday, in which the new president said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran are threats that could be addressed through “diplomacy and rigorous deterrence “.
Kwon said it was illogical and an encroachment on North Korea’s right to self-defense for the United States to label its defensive deterrence as a threat.
Biden’s speech was “unbearable” and “a big mistake,” said Kwon.
“His statement clearly reflects his intention to continue to enforce hostile policies towards the DPRK as the US has pursued for over half a century,” he said, using the initials for North Korea’s official name.
The North Korean statements seem to echo the ministry’s March comments that relations with the United States would be shaped by the “principle of power for power and goodwill for goodwill,” said Jenny Town, director of the in the United States USA-based 38 North program. which North Korea is pursuing.
“In order for the US to continue to emphasize the threat, it will continue to focus on the negative aspects of the relationship and generate negative responses,” she said.
Town noted that while a statement alluded to the policy review, the North Korean comment appeared to focus more on the Biden administration’s discussion of threats.
Talks aimed at getting Pyongyang to hand over its nuclear weapons program have stalled as a series of summits between Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement.
As part of the policy review announced on Friday, Biden has opted for a fresh approach to pressure North Korea into investigating the use of diplomacy to break the stalemate but not aiming for big business with Kim, the white said House.
The White House and State Department did not immediately comment on the latest North Korean statements.
In Sunday’s statement, Kwon said that the US diplomacy talks are aimed at covering up his hostile actions and that his deterrence is only a means to nuclear threats to North Korea.
Now that Biden’s policies have become clear, North Korea “will be forced to press for appropriate action, and in time the US will find itself in a very serious situation,” he concluded.
In a third statement, Kim Yo Jong, a senior government official and sister of leader Kim Jong Un, sharply criticized South Korea for failing to prevent defector activists from publishing leaflets against North Korea.
A group of activists in South Korea said Friday it had brought to North Korea balloons with dollar bills and leaflets denouncing the Pyongyang government and defying a recently passed law banning such releases following complaints from the North.
“We regard the human waste maneuvers in the south as a serious provocation against our state and will examine appropriate measures,” said Kim Yo Jong.
Last year, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, after Kim Yo Jong ran a criticism of the introduction of leaflets.