On North Korea, Biden to chart his own course

Biden administration to pursue 'practical' North Korea nuclear diplomacy

Joe Biden forges new path on North Korea crisis in wake of Trump failure

Press secretary Jen Psaki announced Friday (local time) that administration officials had completed a review of USA policy toward North Korea, seen as one of the greatest and most vexing national security threats facing the United States and its allies.

"What I really think is extremely alarming is a retreat by the South Korean government from its longstanding commitment to human rights vis-à-vis North Korea and China, ostensibly in the cause of fostering better relations or achieving nuclear nonproliferation", Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said during the hearing.

The White House says he plans to take a "calibrated" approach to North Korea.

Biden, like his old boss Barack Obama, has confirmed that he sees North Korea as perhaps the most delicate foreign policy quandary for the United States and its allies.

President Joe Biden is open to diplomatic negotiations with North Korea on denuclearization, the White House said Friday after completion of a review by the new administration of USA policy.

Now that Biden's policy has become clear, North Korea "will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation", he concluded.

"We regard the manoeuvres committed by the human wastes in the south as a serious provocation against our state and will look into corresponding action", Kim Yo Jong said.

A handout photo provided by Dong-A Ilbo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the South and North Korea on June 30, 2019 in Panmunjom, South Korea.

Ilbo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone separating the South and North Korea

The administration announced it would conduct the review soon after Mr. Biden took office in January.

In January, Kim threatened to enlarge his nuclear arsenal and build more high-tech weapons targeting the USA mainland, saying the fate of bilateral ties would depend on whether it abandons its hostile policy.

The legislation allows punishment of up to three years in prison and fines of up to $27,000 for distributing visual media posts and flyers to North Korea from the South Korean side of the border. Pyongyang wants the United States and its allies to lift economic sanctions imposed over its weapons programs. The move came after Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, had demanded the government ban provocative activities from North Korean defectors that could deteriorate the relationship between the two Koreas.

She also accused South Korean authorities of not stopping what she called the reckless acts.

Park Sang-hak, an activist promoting human rights in North Koreans and a former defector, said today that he had distributed leaflets to North Korea.

Kim's powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, previous year furiously demanded South Korea ban the leafleting and called North Korean defectors involved in it "human scum" and "mongrel dogs".

Biden met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga two weeks ago and is to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on May 21 at the White House.