North Korea Says Will Ignore US While "Hostile Policy" In Place

Daniel Fowler
March 18, 2021

Kim Yo Jong criticised ongoing military drills in South Korea while warning the new United States administration.

In a joint statement after a meeting in Tokyo, the two nations' foreign and defense ministers said they will not tolerate Beijing's "destabilizing behavior".

"We take this opportunity to warn the new USA administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land", Kim said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

"If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step".

Kim Yo Jong, a senior official who handles inter-Korean affairs, also criticised the United States and South Korea for holding military exercises.

While Mr. Kim has vowed to strengthen his nuclear weapons program in recent political speeches, he also has said the fate of US relations depends on Washington's actions.

"Will continue to ignore such attempts by United States in future", North Korean minister said.

A USA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that while there have been indications in recent weeks that North Korea may be preparing for a missile launch, one did not appear imminent. In the past, the North has often responded with U.S.

Ms Kim's statement yesterday was the North's first public message to Washington since President Joe Biden took office in January.

North Korea has so far rebuffed entreaties from the United States to engage in dialogue, the White House said on Monday, as a chill in relations that began under then-President Donald Trump has extended into Biden's presidency. The official was not authorised to publicly discuss the diplomatic outreach and spoke on condition of anonymity.

CNN reports that Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has finally responded to the USA after outreach attempts kicked off in mid-February.

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Last week, the four-star admiral declared that the United States and its allies in the Pacific should be on guard as North Korea poses a "serious" and "immediate" threat, adding that the country over the years has continued to develop its nuclear and delivery systems that are created to strike the United States.

While Biden isn't likely to write "love letters" to Kim Jong Un like his predecessor did, Biden's administration has yet to offer a clear break from the prior administration in its stated goals for its approach to the Hermit Kingdom.

While Kim in recent political speeches has vowed to strengthen his nuclear weapons program, he also has said the fate of U.S. relations depends on Washington's actions.

She added that the "warm spring days three years ago" won't easily arrive again - referring to the rapprochement in 2018 following three historic inter-Korean summits - if Seoul follows the instructions of its master, alluding to the US.

But inter-Korean relations have lain in ruin amid the stalemate in the nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang. -South Korea exercises and threats to cancel inter-Korean agreements. The drills have been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer troops and carried out via a computer simulation with no outdoor drills or maneuvers.

Blinken and Austin are consulting on a review of Washington's policy towards the North being carried out by the new administration.

But Kim Yo Jong said even the smaller drills are an act of hostility toward the North.

North Korea has attained "alarming success" in its pursuit of nuclear and long-range missile capabilities, according to Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.

"War drills and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation", she said while mocking Seoul as "ridiculous, impudent and stupid" for "resorting to shrunken war games".

South Korea and the USA on Thursday are set to wrap up their nine-day springtime combined military exercise staged in a scaled-back manner due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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