SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea said on Monday that the United States allowing South Korea to build more powerful missiles was an example of the United States’ hostile policy against the North, warning that it could lead to an “acute and unstable situation” on the Korean Peninsula.
This is North Korea’s first response to the May 21 summit between the leaders of the United States and South Korea, in which the United States ended decades-old restrictions that limited the development of missiles from South Korea and allowed its ally to develop weapons with unlimited range.
The charge of hostility to US policy towards North Korea is significant because it has said it will not return to talks and will expand its nuclear arsenal as long as US hostility persists. But the latest statement has always been attributed to an individual commentator, not a government body, suggesting that North Korea may still want to leave room for potential diplomacy with the Biden administration.
“The termination step is a stark reminder of the hostile United States policy towards (North Korea) and its shameful double game,” Kim Myong Chol, an international affairs critic, said. the official Korean central news agency. “He is immersed in confrontation despite his words in favor of dialogue.”
“The United States is wrong, however. It is a serious mistake for her to put pressure on (North Korea) by creating an asymmetric imbalance in and around the Korean Peninsula, as this could lead to the acute and unstable situation of the now technically warring Korean Peninsula. “, did he declare.
The United States had previously banned South Korea from developing a missile with a range of over 500 miles for fear of a regional arms race. The range is sufficient for a South Korean weapon to strike all of North Korea, but fail to hit potential key targets in other neighbors like China and Japan.
Some South Korean observers hailed the end of restrictions such as restoring military sovereignty, but others suspected the United States’ intention was to bolster its ally’s military capabilities amid rivalry with China.
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Commentator Kim accused Washington of trying to start an arms race, thwart North Korean development and deploy mid-range missiles targeting countries close to North Korea.
The South Korean government has said it is “carefully monitoring” North Korea’s reaction, but Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo declined to comment because The words were attributed to an individual and not to an official statement by the North Korean government.
The North Korean statement comes as the Biden administration shapes a new approach on North Korea amid long dormant discussions over the North’s nuclear program. During their summit, Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that a new review of US policy on North Korea “takes a calibrated and practical approach that is open and will explore diplomacy” with the North.
US officials have suggested that Biden would adopt a policy of compromise between his predecessors – Donald Trump’s direct relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Barack Obama’s “strategic patience”. Some experts say Biden is unlikely to give North Korea major sanctions relief unless he takes concrete denuclearization steps first.
The North Korean statement indirectly criticized the Biden administration’s review, saying the new policy was seen by other countries “as a mere hoax.”