Pyongyang says U.S. policy is “obsolete,” as Biden said it would use diplomacy and “severe deterrence” to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
North Korea on Sunday called US diplomacy “false” and rejected the idea of talks with Washington a day after the Biden administration said it was open to diplomatic negotiations on denuclearization, state media reported. .
Diplomacy was a “false sign” for the United States to “cover up its hostile acts,” North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement to the KCNA news agency.
He also warned President Joe Biden that he had made a “big mistake” with his “obsolete” stance on the country.
In an independent statement also addressed by KCNA, the foreign ministry accused Biden of insulting Kim Jong Un and added: “We have warned the US enough to understand that it will be harmed if it provokes us.”
Biden had said Wednesday in his first speech as president in Congress that he would use “diplomacy and severe deterrence” to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
On Friday, the White House also said its goal remains “the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” but added that the new U.S. president is not looking for any “big negotiations” with the North Korean leader.
U.S. policy will see “an open, calibrated, practical approach that will explore diplomacy” with North Korea, Biden press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Psaki gave little indication of what kind of diplomatic initiative this might entail, but suggested that Biden had learned from the experience of previous administrations, which have struggled for decades to deal with the dictatorship in North Korea or, in in recent years, in its growing nuclear arsenal. .
He said Washington will not “focus on getting big business,” apparently referring to the kind of dramatic global deal that former President Donald Trump initially suggested was possible when he met with the North Korean leader.
The White House would also not follow the more differential approach called “strategic patience,” advocated by Barack Obama, Psaki said.
In April, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is due to visit the White House on May 21, urged Biden to engage directly with Kim in denuclearization.
Moon told the newspaper that he was a supporter of “top-down diplomacy.”
Jenny Town, director of 38 North, a Washington-based North Korean control program, told Reuters news agency that the big features of Biden policy so far sound good.
“But the details will be important to assess the success of the administration with this ‘new approach.’ I’m not sure there’s much to say until we see more,” he said.
There are constant concerns that North Korea may re-test nuclear devices. North Korea launched two alleged ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan in March.
The White House did not say whether it would offer concessions to convince North Korea to return to talks.
The Biden administration has simultaneously pointed to a hard line on human rights, denuclearization and sanctions, while making diplomatic openings that officials say have been rejected by Pyongyang, which has long demanded a easing of sanctions.