A senior North Korean official has railed against ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint military drills and threatened to freeze out Seoul by only holding future talks with Washington, CNN reported.
Kwon Jong Gun, the director general of the North Korean foreign ministry’s Department of American Affairs, issued a press statement Sunday via KCNA, the nation’s state-run media agency.
The statement denounces South Korea’s plan to hold any military drills and referenced President Donald Trump’s recent comments on short-range missile tests. This comes one day after Pyongyang’s fifth short-range missile test in a matter of weeks.
Kwon accused the South of attempting to disguise the intentions of the drills by changing their name. “It is a miscalculation if they think that the very change of the name of the exercise can alter its aggressive nature,” the North Korean official is quoted as saying. “S***, though hard and dry, still stinks even if it is wrapped in a flowered cloth.”
The statement continued: “Though we are to enter into a dialogue in future as the currents flow in favor of dialogue, they had better keep in mind that this dialogue would be held strictly between the DPRK and the U.S., not between the North and the South.”
On Saturday Trump tweeted that he looks forward to seeing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “in the not too distant future,” but did not give any further information about progress toward another meeting between the men.
A day earlier Trump said that he received a “very beautiful” letter from Kim, who has repeatedly violated UN resolutions in recent weeks with a series of short-range missile tests.
Speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn, Trump described the three-page missive as “very positive,” and hinted at some of the contents. Kim made clear he is not happy with U.S. “tests,” Trump said, later clarifying that what he meant was the joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.