North Korea warns America as US state, defense secretaries begin Asia trip

Seoul, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- North Korean Kim Jong Un’s sister has slammed the United States and warned it against “causing a stink,” state media reported on Tuesday.

Kim Yo Jong’s statement came as the new US secretaries of state and defense began a trip to Asia that would take them to Tokyo and Seoul.

“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” she said, according to the statement published by state news agency KCNA.

“If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”

The statement marked particularly with harsh criticism of the US and South Korea for joint military exercises coincides with the White House on Monday expressing confidence that it would resume diplomacy with North Korea.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the US had “reached out” and that several channels exist via which Washington could make contact with Pyongyang.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and defense chief Austin Lloyd are expected to discuss North Korea with Japan and South Korean officials as they begin their first diplomatic tour with visits to Tokyo and Seoul.

But North Korea has so far not responded to the US overtures.

Talks between Kim Jong Un and the then US President Donald Trump ended in a stalemate in 2019 after three high-profile meetings over the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and international sanctions against the nuclear-armed Asian nation.

Pyongyang has been accusing the US of being militarily hostile to North Korea.

South Korea and the US began a joint annual military drill last week that was scaled down ostensibly due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Kim’s sister, in her statement, referred to the springtime drills and said the peace between the two neighbors was not possible now unless the hostile approach ended.

“They opted for ‘war in March’ and ‘crisis in March’ again under the eyes of all Koreans, instead of ‘warmth in March’,” she said.

Kim Yo Jong, who has been a trusted adviser to her brother, said inter-Korean peace depended on the attitude of the South Korean authorities.

“War drill and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation.”

She also threatened that North Korea was considering pulling out of an inter-Korean defense pact signed to reduce tensions along their shared border.

“We will watch the attitude and actions of the South Korean authorities. And if they dare resort to more provocative acts, we may take a special measure of resolutely abrogating even the north-south military agreement.”

She also warned that organizations for dialog with South Korea and peaceful reunification of Korea would be dissolved because they have “no reason for existence.” EFE-EPA


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