The United States will face “a very serious situation” because President Joe Biden called North Korea a serious threat, a senior foreign ministry official said on Sunday.
Biden made a “big blunder” in his first speech to Congress last week, when he criticized North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs, Kwon Jong Gun said in a statement released via the news agency. official press KCNA.
Calling them “serious threats” to the United States and global security, Biden said he would work with his American allies to address these threats through “diplomacy” and “severe deterrence.”
But Kwon said his speech “clearly reflected his intention to continue to pursue the hostile policy towards the DPRK as had been done by the United States for more than half a century.” The DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name for the North.
Kwon added that his country will be forced to push for “corresponding measures” and, in time, the United States will find itself in “a very serious situation”, without giving further details on what the situation could be.
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NBC News reached out to the State Department for comment, but the White House said on Friday that the Biden administration had completed a “rigorous” review of its North Korean policy, taking a new approach to pressure the Pariah state to denuclearize.
Rather than seeking a “big deal,” White House spokesman Jen Psaki said the new policy would be a “calibrated and practical approach that is open and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK.”
Former President Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot on North Korean soil in 2019. But despite Trump having held several high-level meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, relations deteriorated and talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula ended without a deal.
Days before Trump stepped down in January, Kim called America a “sworn enemy” of his country, which should be brought to its knees.
In a new show of force, the North launched two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan last month. Satellite images also showed renewed activity at a North Korean nuclear facility.
The fact that North Korea’s latest response does not come from the top of the regime, coupled with the lack of details on its next move is a way for the North to leave the door open to diplomacy and escalation, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, lecturer in international relations at King’s College London, told NBC News.
“In my opinion, North Korea will just wait to get more details on the Biden administration’s review of North Korea and then go from there,” he said.
Mason Richey, a professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in the South Korean capital Seoul, agreed the response was typical of the regime, but added that the North “nevertheless announced that it would lead a very difficult market. “.
Adding to growing tensions, Kim’s powerful sister Kim Yo Jong slammed South Korea on Sunday over anti-Pyongyang leaflets that were thrown across the border by a group of North Korean deserters in the south. She called this an “intolerable provocation”.
“Discontent cannot be hidden in the face of such sordid acts,” Kim, who is a senior official in his brother’s government, said in a statement, also carried by KCNA. She added that the North will consider how to retaliate as it can remain “a bystander” longer.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this story.
Stella Kim contributed.