The new US administration has not yet formulated its North Korea policy. A visit by Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Defense Austin to South Korea should help to create more clarity.
Seoul / Washington – Shortly before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon boss Lloyd Austin visited South Korea, North Korea condemned the two countries’ joint military exercises and warned the US. In a statement, the influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, accused the new US administration of causing trouble. “If she wants to sleep in peace in the next four years, she would have better refrained from making stink as a first step,” Kim was quoted as saying by the state-controlled media on Tuesday. The efforts of the administration of US President Joe Biden to get in touch with the North Korean leadership have so far been unsuccessful, according to US statements.
The armed forces of the USA and South Korea had started a spring maneuver on a reduced scale last week. It lasts until Thursday. The command exercise, which focuses on computer simulations, does not include field exercises. According to South Korea, the scope of the maneuver was reduced, taking into account the corona pandemic and the diplomacy in the dispute over the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
Threats from Kim Yo Jong against the USA: North Korea sees itself provoked
North Korea sees itself provoked by the USA’s regular military exercises with South Korea. “War exercises and hostility can never go hand in hand with dialogue and cooperation,” said Kim Yo Jong’s statement, who has been an important advisor to Kim Jong Uns for years.
She also threatened North Korea’s withdrawal from a 2018 military agreement with South Korea. She accused the neighboring country of “hostile behavior”. That leaves Pyongyang no choice but to question the right to exist of the committee responsible for inter-Korean relations for the peaceful reunification of the country.
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The coordination of North Korea’s policies in their countries will also be a central theme in Blinkens and Austin’s talks with the South Korean government. Both US ministers are expected in Seoul on Wednesday after their visit to Japan. The goal is to rely on diplomacy and to reduce the “risk of escalation”, said the spokeswoman for US President Biden, Jen Psaki, in Washington on Monday. However, the government has not yet received an answer from Pyongyang. There has been no “active dialogue” with North Korea for “a good year” despite “multiple” contact efforts.
United Nations experts reported in February that North Korea was pushing ahead with its nuclear program and ballistic missile development despite international sanctions. (dpa / fmü)
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