‘Engrossed In Confrontation,’ Creating An ‘Acute And Instable Situation’: North Korea Reacts To U.S.-South Korea Missile Agreement

Following a May 21 summit between President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-In, during which Biden and Moon agreed to end restrictions on South Korean missile programs, North Korea accused the U.S. of hostility and creating an “acute and instable situation.”

“It’s North Korea’s first response to the May 21 summit between the leaders of the United States and South Korea, during which the U.S. ended decades-long restrictions that capped South Korea’s missile development and allowed its ally to develop weapons with unlimited ranges,” reported the Associated Press.

“The accusation of U.S. policy being hostile to North Korea matters because it said it won’t return to talks and would enlarge its nuclear arsenal as long as U.S. hostility persists. But the latest statement was still attributed to an individual commentator, not a government body, suggesting North Korea may still want to leave room for potential diplomacy with the Biden administration.”

According to Kim Myong Chol, who is an unofficial government spokesman described by North Korea’s state news agency as an “international affairs critic,” “The termination step is a stark reminder of the U.S. hostile policy toward [North Korea] and its shameful double-dealing,” and that “It is engrossed in confrontation despite its lip-service to dialogue.”

“The U.S. is mistaken, however. It is a serious blunder for it to pressurize [North Korea] by creating asymmetric imbalance in and around the Korean Peninsula as this may lead to the acute and instable situation on the Korean Peninsula now technically at war,” he said.

“North Korea’s target is the United States, not South Korea’s military, and it will counter the States on ‘the principle of strength for strength,’ Kim said, according to Reuters, before describing Moon’s welcoming of the termination as “disgusting” and “indecent.”

“Now that the U.S. and the South Korean authorities made clear their ambition of aggression, they are left with no reasons whatsoever to fault the DPRK bolstering its capabilities for self-defense,” Kim added.

On May 21, the United States and South Korea released a  joint statement, which began, “Over seventy years ago, the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea was forged on the battlefield, as we stood shoulder-to-shoulder in war. Bonded in common sacrifice, our partnership has helped to keep the peace in the decades since, allowing both of our countries and our peoples to thrive. The linchpin for stability and prosperity, our alliance has continued to evolve as the world around us has changed. Now, as the regional security environment in the Indo-Pacific grows more complex, and existential issues, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the threat of climate change, reshape the globe, we recommit ourselves to an ironclad alliance.”

“The two sides reaffirm that close coordination on all matters related to global nonproliferation and safe, secure, and safeguarded uses of nuclear technology remain key characteristics of the alliance, and the United States recognizes the ROK’s global role in promoting nonproliferation efforts. Following consultations with the United States, the ROK announces the termination of its Revised Missile Guidelines, and the Presidents acknowledged the decision,” the statement added, before emphasizing a “shared commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and intent “to address the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK’s) nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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