North Korea Policy ‘Not Aimed at Hostility,’ Biden Aide Says

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The Biden administration’s policy toward North Korea “is not aimed at hostility” but at “achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” a top aide said.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke hours after North Korea labeled President Joe Biden’s recent comment that the country’s nuclear program is a threat as “intolerable”.

“We believe that rather than all-for-all or nothing-for-nothing, a more calibrated, practical, measured approach stands the best chance of actually moving the ball down the field” toward reducing North Korea’s nuclear program, Sullivan said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’re prepared to engage in diplomacy towards that ultimate objective.”

On Sunday, a North Korean official said Biden “made a big blunder” in comments on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

“On Iran and North Korea -- nuclear programs that present serious threats to American security and the security of the world -- we’re going to be working closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through diplomacy, as well as stern deterrence,” Biden said in an address to a joint session of Congress on April 28.

“His statement clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward the DPRK as it had been done by the U.S. for over half a century,” Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.

“This becomes an evident sign that it is girding itself up for an all-out showdown,” North Korea’s foreign ministry said. “We have warned the U.S. sufficiently enough to understand that it will get hurt if it provokes us.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the U.S. has completed a review of its North Korea policy. Biden is also scheduled to meet South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on May 21, with North Korea expected to be high on the agenda.

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Moon will be the second foreign leader to visit the White House since Biden’s inauguration, after Japan’s prime minister.

In a separate statement on Sunday, North Korea warned Seoul for allowing a defector group to send 500,000 propaganda leaflets on the Kim Jong Un regime over the border by balloon.

“We regard the maneuvers committed by the human wastes in the South as a serious provocation against our state,” Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said in the statement, adding that Pyongyang will “look into corresponding action.”

In June Kim Yo-jong warned that South Korea would pay a “dear price” if it continued to allow “mongrel dogs” to send the leaflets. Soon after that, North Korea blew up a $15 million joint liaison office built by South Korea north of the border that served as a de facto embassy -- destroying one of the most tangible symbols of Moon’s rapprochement efforts.

Seoul opposes any actions that “cause tension” on the Korean Peninsula and will “continue to endeavor to establish peace,” South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

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