North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has blamed Washington for offering talks with Pyongyang as a cover for its hostile policy it’s sticking to, particularly pointing that the military threat from the US was still there.
Citing North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA), Reuters reported on Thursday that the North Korean leader made the statement in its address to the 5th session of the reclusive country’s 14th Supreme People’s Assembly.
Despite the repeated calls from the administration of US President Joe Biden for resuming the negotiations with North Korea on the country’s nuclear program, stalled since 2019, Kim pointed that there’s no change at all in the US military threat and hostile policy toward Pyongyang, noting the American expressions and methods only get more cunning.
Responding to Kim’s accusations, the US State Department stressed that the US harbors no hostile intent toward North Korea, underlying that the American policy calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK.
The statement also notes that the US is prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions to make tangible progress that increases the security of the United States, its deployed forces and its allies, emphasizing the hope the Pyongyang will respond positively.
When it comes to its neighbors, Kim announced his plans to restore in early October the stalled communication with South Korea to promote durable peace and improve relations on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, has said earlier this week that said Pyongyang is also considering an inter-Korean summit along with a formal declaration ending the Korean War of 1950-53.
Pyongyang’s communication channels with Seoul were cut off on June 9, 2020, also closing later the inter-Korean liaison office in the border city of Kaesong. North Kore decided on the measures in response to the cross-border launch of balloons carrying propaganda leaflets it called a hostile act violating bilateral peace agreements.
Though communication lines were restored shorty in late July after more than a year, but the joint US-South Korea drills that had kicked out two weeks later prompted Pyongyang to stop responding to calls.
In light of Kim’s wishes for South Korea to help him win relief from crippling US-led economic sanctions and other concession, his statement is seen as an apparent effort to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.
Yet, he accuses South Korea of begging external support and cooperation in servitude to the US instead of committing to independently resolving the matters between the Koreas, reiterating his calls for Seoul to abandon double-dealing attitude and hostile viewpoint over the North’s missile tests.
This is seen by many experts as pressure for South Korea to tone down its criticism of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests banned by UN Security Council resolutions especially considering the fact that Kim delivered his speech the same day North Korea issued details of its latest weapons test involving new hypersonic missile called Hwasong-8, designed to evade US missile defenses.
It was the fourth missile this month conducted by North Korea, actions that will be a subject of discussion at the UNSC’s meeting on Thursday, as the meeting’s agenda published on the UN website shows.
Consultations that will take place behind closed doors will also have the nuclear non-proliferation on the agenda.