Politics

‘CHEAP TRICKS’: North Korea lashes US over diplomacy attempts

A top North Korean official has vowed to ignore United States attempts to establish contact until Washington has met Pyongyang’s conditions.

According to media reports, the US has been trying to contact North Korea since mid-February.

“We don’t think there is a need to respond to the US delaying-time trick again,” North Korea’s first deputy foreign minister Choe Son Hui said on Thursday in a statement carried by the North Korean state news agency KCNA.

She accused Washington of adopting hostile policies and using “cheap tricks”.

She said no contact or dialogue of any kind was possible unless the US rolled back what she called its “hostile policy” towards North Korea.

“In order for a dialogue to be held, an atmosphere for both parties to exchange words on an equal basis must be created,” she asserted.

Pyongyang would also disregard future Washington attempts to take up contact.

The North Korean comments came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting South Korea alongside Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a first overseas trip by top-level members of Biden’s administration.

The US is committed to the denuclearisation of North Korea, Antony Blinken said in Seoul. Credit: AP

Speaking in Seoul on Wednesday, Blinken accused North Korea of committing “systemic and widespread abuses” against its own people and said the United States and its allies were committed to the denuclearisation of North Korea.

With Choe’s statement, North Korea confirmed for the first time that the administration of President Joe Biden had been trying to get in touch.

A White House spokeswoman announced last Monday that efforts in this direction had so far been unsuccessful.

The goal is to rely on diplomacy and reduce the “risk of escalation,” it said.

 President Joe Biden has been trying to get in touch.
President Joe Biden has been trying to get in touch. Credit: Getty

Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had initiated talks with ruler Kim Jong-un about North Korea’s nuclear program and also met him personally.

Despite two high-profile summits attended by Trump and Kim amid much fanfare, little progress was made on the issue of reducing or dismantling the disputed North Korean nuclear arsenal.

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