Rabu, 29 September 2021

North Korea’s Kim says US offer of talks a ‘petty trick’ -

People watch a television news broadcast showing file footage of a North Korean missile test at a railway station in Seoul

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un condemned a US offer of dialogue as a "petty trick", state media reported Thursday, and accused the Joe Biden administration of continuing a hostile policy against his nuclear-armed country.

Talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been effectively at a standstill since the collapse of a 2019 Hanoi summit between Kim and then-president Donald Trump over sanctions relief and what North Korea would be willing to give up in return.

But Kim condemned the declarations as "no more than a petty trick for deceiving the international community and hiding its hostile acts", the official KCNA news agency reported.

Pyongyang has been largely biding its time in recent months as it assessed the Biden government and focused on domestic issues.

But Kim's speech was the latest in a series of actions with international ramifications this month.

Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes are banned under UN Security Council resolutions, and it is subject to multiple international sanctions as a result.

"We are prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement, reiterating the offer.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Thursday on North Korea, at the request of the United States, France and the United Kingdom, diplomatic sources told AFP Wednesday.

Kim's speech indicated Pyongyang would keep improving its capabilities unless Washington changed course, said Hong Min, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.

- 'Double-dealing attitude' -

The North has repeatedly excoriated the South and its President Moon Jae-in since the collapse of the Hanoi summit, and blown up a liaison office on its side of the border that Seoul had built.

But Kim said the South was "in servitude to the US", and that an end-of-war declaration could only come with "mutual respect" and an end to the "unfair and double-dealing attitude and hostile viewpoint".

Seoul is also spending billions on military development as both Koreas build up their weapons capabilities in what could become an arms race on the peninsula, with ramifications for neighbouring Japan, China and the wider region.

This week, it held a ceremony to launch its third submarine capable of carrying SLBMs.


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2021-09-30 01:49:23Z

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