North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's powerful younger sister warned that Pyongyang could scrap the inter-Korean military agreement as she lambasted the annual joint military drills between Seoul and Washington. It has also urged the U.S.to give up any hostile policy toward the North. Yo Jong's words also marked Pyongyang's first explicit reference to President Biden, more than four months after he defeated former president Donald Trump, who had taken an initiative to make peace with the pariah state and met Kim Jong un at different locations a number of times during his only tenure. "Our stance is that North Korea should take a flexible stance, such as responding to our offer for dialogue for the establishment of permanent and solid peace on the Korean Peninsula".
"I would also like to take this opportunity to issue a word of advice to the new U.S. administration, which is so eager to give off a smell of gunpowder in our land from across the ocean", she said. During Trump's tenure, North Korea built its stockpile of fissile material, developed more powerful atomic weapons and tested new missiles created to deliver nuclear warheads to all of the USA mainland.
US officials said on Saturday that the Biden administration had reached out to North Korea three times since mid-February but had not yet received a response.
Leader Kim Jong Un had three high-profile summit meetings with former president Donald Trump and exchanged a series of letters, but North Korea later ended talks and said it would not engage further unless the United States dropped its hostile policies.
The United States and South Korea began joint military exercises last week, and South Korea's Yonhap News Agency quoted Rodong Sinmun, a statement issued by Kim Yo-jung offering "advice to the new U.S. administration trying to spread". They are seeking cooperation on a united front toward regional security from the countries that host the bulk of US troops in the region and face threats posed by North Korea and China. "Now Kim's statement will be central to discussions". "War drill and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation".
Experts say that the timing of Kim's comments seems designed as North Korea wishes to ensure that it is at the top of Blinken and Austin's agenda when they land in Seoul.
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to protect it from a potential attack, and Seoul and Washington, united in a military alliance, began a computer simulation military exercise last week. So while ALSO keeping tabs on the top US officials' visits, the North is sending a warning not to provoke them especially through the so-called "two plus two" meetings with South Korean and Japanese counterparts.
Their first official overseas visits are meant to restore what Mr Biden hopes will be a calming and even-keeled approach to ties with Tokyo and Seoul after four years of transactional and often temperamental relations under the previous president, Donald Trump.
She added that the "warm spring days three years ago" won't easily arrive again - referring to the rapprochement in 2018 following three historic inter-Korean summits - if Seoul follows the instructions of its master, alluding to the US. "But to date we have not received any response", Psaki said.
The warning came as the US secretaries of state and defense made their first visit overseas, traveling to Tokyo for so-called two-plus-two talks with their counterparts on the alliance's role in maintaining security in the region.
She said North Korea would consider pulling out of an inter-Korean military agreement aimed at reducing tensions along their shared border, and would review whether to dissolve several organisations aimed at cooperation with the South.