North Korea Says Will Ignore US While "Hostile Policy" In Place
North Korea Says Will Ignore US While "Hostile Policy" In Place
North Korea complains about ‘stink’ of U.S.-South Korea military exercises
18 March, 2021, 08:12
It came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Asia to talk to allies Japan and South Korea about North Korea and other regional issues. "The idea was to 'train them like a dog, ' a North Korean defector told me", Klingner said, to squeeze concessions from the two, more powerful countries.
Seoul and Washington are security allies and kicked off joint military exercises last week, leading to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's influential sister warning the new USA administration against "causing a stink at its first step" if it wants to "sleep in peace for coming four years".
The Biden administration has reached out to North Korea but no response has been received to date, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday. She pointed to the meetings between Blinken, Austin, and their counterparts, where "certainly, the security of the region will be a topic of discussion".
South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook told lawmakers Tuesday that the US hadn't formally proposed for South Korea to join an expanded format of the so-called "Quad" group that includes the United States, Japan, Australia and India, and that the Americans won't likely make such a proposal during this week's talks.
"If you want to get serious, for example, with sanctions, we could consider sanctioning China's financial institutions that do business with North Korea".
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".
In Tokyo, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not respond to a reporter's request for comment on North Korea's statement.
Challenges posed by North Korea's nuclear arsenal and China's growing influence loom large in the Biden administration's first Cabinet-level trip overseas, part of a larger effort to bolster USA influence and clam concerns about the U.S. role in Asia following four years of President Donald Trump's "America first" approach. The last known North Korean weapons test was conducted in March 2020.
"The Quad is not an anti-China alliance, it's a coalition of like-minded countries addressing common challenges and committed to a rules-based order", he said.
"We have always been aware of it and are ready to make them pay dearly for it at an appropriate time", Kim Yo Jong said in the statement. "When they do something provocative, it puts a three- to six-month pause on diplomacy because no one wants to be seen rewarding that kind of behavior", he continued.
In remarks on state media, Kim Yo-jong criticised the USA and South Korea for conducting joint military exercises. Rocket engine tests are "not really a violation, but not helpful", he said.
The joint statement called again for Pyongyang's "complete denuclearization" warning North Korea's arsenal "poses a threat to global peace and stability".
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party on February 8, 2021.
He said the Biden administration is looking forward to completing its policy review on North Korea in coming weeks and was looking both at possible "additional pressure measures" and "diplomatic paths".
Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong has warned the United States not to "cause a stink".
Choe said, "We have already made our point clear that no North Korea-US contact or talks will be held unless the US withdraws hostile policies to us and that we will continue to ignore its attempts to reach out to us".
The head of U.S. Northern Command, which is in charge of defending the continental United States, also warned of the "alarming success" in North Korea's quest to demonstrate its capability to threaten the American homeland with nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles.
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For more, Director of Korea Risk Group and Professor of Kookmin University Andrei LANKOV joins us via Skype. He and Austin are due to hold consultations with their South Korean counterparts in Seoul on Thursday.
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