The North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un had an exchange with the former US President Donald Trump. So far, however, North Korea’s efforts to contact the new administration in Washington have failed. Now Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of the ruler, has attacked the United States with drastic words.
The government of the new US President Joe Biden wants to “spread the smell of gunpowder over our country,” said Kim Yo Jong, according to the North Korean state newspaper “Rodong Sinmun”. “If you want to sleep soundly for the next four years, it would be better not to get involved in work that will keep you awake.”
It was North Korea’s first public statement about Biden. At the same time, Kim Yo Jong condemned the US military maneuver with South Korea that was launched last week. She accused the government in Seoul of playing the “March of War”. If South Korea were to act “even more provocatively”, Kim Yo Jong threatened to terminate a military agreement between the two states.
South Korea and the USA have started joint spring maneuvers
The armed forces of the USA and South Korea had started a spring maneuver on a reduced scale last week. The command exercise, which will last until Thursday, has been reduced, according to Seoul, taking into account the corona pandemic and diplomacy in the dispute over the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
North Korea sees itself provoked by the USA’s regular military exercises with South Korea. Both countries reject Pyongyang’s accusation of preparing an attack. “War exercises and hostility can never go hand-in-hand with dialogue and cooperation,” said Kim Yo Jong’s statement, who has been an influential advisor to her brother Kim Jong Uns for years.
Former US President Trump had tried in recent years to work towards dismantling the North Korean nuclear program through direct encounters with ruler Kim Jong Un. The last summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi in February 2019 failed, however, and the nuclear negotiations between the two countries have been on hold since then. Tensions between North and South Korea also intensified again.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon boss Lloyd Austin began their first trip abroad to Japan and South Korea on Monday. In a joint comment in the Washington Post, both ministers reiterated their intention to “revive our relationships with friends and partners.”
Efforts by the new US administration to contact the North Korean leadership led by ruler Kim Jong Un have so far been unsuccessful. The goal is to rely on diplomacy and reduce the “risk of escalation,” said US President Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki in the White House on Monday. So far, however, the government has not received an answer from Pyongyang. The US coordinated closely on the issue with its allies Japan and South Korea and also spoke with representatives of previous governments, she said.
“Our goal is to reduce the risk of escalation, but so far we have received no response,” said Psaki. She added that there had been no “active dialogue” with North Korea for “a good year” despite “multiple” contact efforts.