SEOUL — North Korea mentioned on Sunday that President Biden had made “a big blunder” by calling its nuclear arsenal a menace final week, and it warned that the United States would face “a very grave situation” if it maintained what it referred to as a “hostile policy” towards Pyongyang.
The assertion, attributed to a senior official, was one in every of three that the North launched on Sunday directed on the United States and its ally South Korea. They included warnings that the North would possibly reply to the Biden administration’s current statements in regards to the nation with unspecified “corresponding measures.”
Mr. Biden made a short reference to North Korea in his speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, saying that its nuclear program and Iran’s offered “serious threats to American security and the security of the world.” He mentioned the United States and its allies would take care of them “through diplomacy as well as stern deterrence.”
“It is certain that the U.S. chief executive made a big blunder,” Kwon Jong-gun, a senior official at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, mentioned in a press release revealed by the North’s state information media. He mentioned Mr. Biden’s comment “clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward” North Korea.
“We will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation,” he mentioned.
North Korea has lengthy mentioned that it is not going to surrender its nuclear arsenal till the United States modifications its “hostile” coverage. It has doubled down on that insistence since direct talks between its chief, Kim Jong-un, and President Donald J. Trump ended in 2019 with no agreement on dismantling the North’s nuclear weapons amenities or easing American-led sanctions imposed on the North.
On March 25, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, its first such check in a yr. Analysts have since warned that the North might perform extra exams or different provocations in an try and bolster its leverage in any talks with the Biden administration.
The administration, which has been conducting a North Korea coverage assessment, just lately indicated that it will pursue a method someplace between Mr. Trump’s direct outreach to Mr. Kim, through which he strove for a single, sweeping deal, and the “strategic patience” strategy of former President Barack Obama, which sought to compel the North to barter via sanctions and different types of stress. Both approaches failed, and North Korea has stored expanding its arsenal.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said on Friday that the administration “will not focus on achieving a grand bargain, nor will it rely on strategic patience.” She mentioned it will search “a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy” with North Korea and would attempt to “make practical progress that increases the security” of the United States and its allies.
In his Sunday assertion, Mr. Kwon mentioned that the administration’s discuss of diplomacy was “a spurious signboard for covering up its hostile acts.”
In a separate assertion on Sunday, additionally launched via the state information media, the North’s Foreign Ministry accused the administration of utilizing criticism of the North’s human rights file as “a political weapon for overturning our social system.”
“We will be forced to take corresponding measures,” an unidentified spokesman for the ministry was quoted as saying. “We have already made it clear that we will counter in the strongest terms whoever encroaches upon the dignity of our supreme leadership, which is more valuable than our lives.”
That was in response to a statement final week by Ned Price, the State Department spokesman, who referred to as North Korea “one of the most repressive and totalitarian states in the world.” Mr. Price cited “shoot-to-kill orders at the North Korea-China border” that American officers say the North has imposed because the emergence of Covid-19.
Also on Sunday, Mr. Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, denounced South Korea for failing to cease a bunch of activists from utilizing balloons to ship propaganda leaflets throughout the nations’ border into the North.
Such launches, a tactic usually utilized by defectors from North Korea campaigning towards the Kim regime, have been banned by South Korea in March, on the grounds that they needlessly provoked Pyongyang and endangered South Koreans residing close to the border. The North cited the propaganda launches final yr when it blew up an workplace constructing on its soil the place officers from each Koreas had labored collectively.
Park Sang-hak, who leads a defectors’ group in Seoul, mentioned on Friday that his group had defied the launch ban earlier within the week, releasing 10 massive balloons carrying a half million leaflets. He accused the South Korean authorities of “gagging” the defectors and denying North Koreans the proper to know the way their leaders have been seen by the surface world.
Ms. Kim, who serves as her brother’s spokeswoman on inter-Korean points, referred to as the defectors “human wastes” in her assertion Sunday, characterizing the launch as “a serious provocation” and warning that the North would “look into corresponding action.”