N. Korea’s ballistic missiles constitute a threat to US: State Dept.

14-Oct-2021 Intellasia | Yonhap | 5:53 AM Print This Post

North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes pose a threat to the US and its allies, a State Department spokesperson said Tuesday.

The remark comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed North Korea’s enemy is not South Korea nor the US while calling for efforts to further advance the North’s military capabilities.

“The DPRK’s WMD and ballistic missile programmes constitute a threat to international peace and security and the global nonproliferation regime,” the State Department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency in an email.

“The United States has a vital interest in deterring the DPRK, defending against its provocations or uses of force, and in limiting the reach of its most dangerous weapons programmes, and above all keeping the American people and our allies safe,” the official added, asking not to be identified.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

North Korea has consistently accused the US of having a hostile policy against its regime, while also arguing that regular joint military exercises between South Korean and US forces are war-rehearsals.

The North Korean leader reiterated such an accusation this week.

“The United States has been frequently signaling that it’s not hostile to our country, but there has been no behavioral ground to believe that it is not,” Kim said at a defense development exhibition held Monday, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“Our enemy is war itself, not a certain country or forces like South Korea and the US,” Kim was quoted as saying, adding that North Korea needs to “first be strong.”

The State Department spokesperson said the US remains open to engaging with Pyongyang in dialogue.

“The United States harbors no hostile intent toward the DPRK. We are prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions and engage in serious and sustained diplomacy. We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach.”

The US had offered the same response when North Korea staged a series of short-range missile tests last month that it claims included the test launch of a new “hypersonic” missile.

North Korea, however, remains unresponsive to American overtures, while it has also stayed away from any meaningful talks with the US since early 2019.

“Our policy calls for a calibrated, practical approach that seeks serious and sustained diplomacy with the DPRK to make tangible progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, and our deployed forces,” the State Department spokesperson added.



Category: Korea

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