Pyongyang accused the US of “double-dealing” on Friday, blaming Washington’s deception for the halted nuclear talks, just days after both North and South Korea launched missiles.
On Wednesday, Seoul successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile, making it the world’s eighth country to do so. North Korea, which possesses nuclear weapons, had launched two missiles into the sea just hours before.
Pyongyang’s launch was criticized by Washington, Seoul’s treaty friend, who said it was “in breach of repeated UN Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to the DPRK’s neighbors” and other countries.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency lambasted US comments on Friday, accusing Washington of having a “double-dealing attitude” by “staying mute about South Korea’s act,” alluding to Seoul’s SLBM launch.
According to a KCNA statement attributed to foreign affairs analyst Kim Myong Chol, Washington’s “double-dealing act” is a “stumbling block in the way of solving the Korean peninsula issue and a catalyst heightening the tension.”
He went on to say, “This is the exact reason for the stalemate in the DPRK-US talks,” using the North’s official name.
International sanctions are in place on North Korea because of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which it claims are necessary to defend itself from a US invasion.
Since the failure of a 2019 meeting in Hanoi between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-President Donald Trump over sanctions relief — and what Pyongyang would be ready to give up in exchange – nuclear discussions with the US have remained frozen.
Sung Kim, the US special envoy for North Korea, reiterated this week that the US has made many offers “to meet without preconditions,” indicating that Washington is willing to utilize diplomacy to reach out to Pyongyang.
Pyongyang’s Kim, on the other hand, reiterated that “the phrase denuclearization can never be put on the table” unless Washington abandons its “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN