North Korea issued its first official statement directed at the new Biden administration on Tuesday as members of the United States government arrived in Asia, telling the U.S. to “refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, issued a warning to the United States as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Asia for meetings with authorities in Japan and South Korea. Their schedule reportedly includes gatherings on Tuesday in Tokyo and then in Seoul on Wednesday.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off (gun) powder smell in our land,” she said. “If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
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.”
A spokesperson from South Korea’s Defense Ministry, Boo Seung-chan, said that the military work was defensive and asked for North Korea to display a more “flexible attitude” that could move the region toward peace. According to the AP, “He said the South’s military wasn’t detecting any unusual signs of military activity from the North.”
According to The New York Times, she also said South Korea’s diplomatic desires were “ridiculous, impudent and stupid.” She stated that the relations between the two countries would get worse due to the fact that Seoul had crossed a “red line.”
“War drill and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation,” she said. “They are about to bring a biting wind, not warm wind expected by all, in the spring days of March.”
Kim Yo Jong also declared that North Korea might leave the 2018 bilateral agreement it previously made to lessen military hostility and also potentially get rid of its Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country that works on inter-Korean relations, stating that it “has no reason for existence.”
AP reported: “She said the North would also consider scrapping an office that handled South Korean tours to the North’s scenic Diamond Mountain, which Seoul suspended in 2008 after a North Korean guard fatally shot a South Korean tourist.”
This is the first official word from North Korea on the Biden administration. In the past few months, the country has ramped up discussion of its nuclear ambitions. At a meeting of his ruling Workers’ Party last month, Kim Jong Un stated that creating nuclear capabilities in North Korea has been “a strategic and predominant goal” and “the exploit of greatest significance in the history of the Korean nation.”