On Thursday, North Korea said that it will disregard efforts by the United States to hold discussions unless the U.S. changes its policy following recent attempts by the U.S. to continue nuclear talks.
Choe Son Hui, Pyongyang’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, released a statement before top officials from the United States and South Korea held a joint press briefing in Seoul.
At the briefing, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not specifically discuss Choe’s statement, but he did say, “President Biden plans to complete a North Korea policy review in the weeks ahead in close cooperation and consultation with the Republic of Korea, with Japan, and with other key partners, including resuming pressure options and the potential for future diplomacy.”
According to Choe’s statement, the United States has called and emailed the North Korean regime through various avenues, but Choe called the attempt a “cheap trick,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“It will only be a waste of time to sit with the U.S. as it is not ready to feel and accept new change and new times,” Choe said. “We make it clear that we won’t give it such opportunities as in Singapore and Hanoi again.”
North Korea has refused similar attempts to begin diplomatic talks in the past, often stating that the United States needs to stop the “hostile policy” it has toward the country before discussions can be held. Pyongyang often uses the United States’ military drills with South Korea and accusations of its human rights abuses as illustrations of hostility, per The Wall Street Journal.
“In order for a dialogue to be made, an atmosphere for both parties to exchange words on an equal basis must be created,” Choe said.
The statement from Choe comes days after North Korea’s first official statement was issued toward the Biden administration by way of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong.
On Tuesday, Kim Yo Jong stated, “We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off (gun) powder smell in our land … If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
The Daily Wire reports that Kim Yo Jong also referenced military drills in her warning:
According to reporting by The Associated Press, Kim Yo Jong’s statement was published in Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper. She used the opportunity to speak out against the United States and South Korea for continuing military drills this month. The two allies began their military procedures last week. The drills are done annually and reportedly do not take place in the field and are only command post exercises or simulated by computers.
Still, Kim Yo Jong said, “(War drills) and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation.”
The Ministers and Secretaries emphasized that North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile issues are a priority for the Alliance, and reaffirmed a shared commitment to address and resolve these issues. They affirmed the importance of full implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions by the international community, including North Korea. The ROK and the United States are closely coordinating on all issues related to the Korean Peninsula. Both sides shared the view that these issues should be addressed through a fully-coordinated strategy toward North Korea between the ROK and the United States.
The statement also reaffirms the alliance between the two nations, nothing that it was “forged in blood on the battlefield 70 years ago” and “serves as the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and the Indo-Pacific region.”
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