North Korea: US Has No Standing to Comment on Inter-Korean Affairs
21:35 GMT 10.06.2020(updated 21:55 GMT 10.06.2020)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) criticized the United States on Thursday, saying the US has no standing to comment on internal Korean affairs. Earlier this week, Pyongyang severed contact with Seoul over propaganda distribution by defectors in the South.
In a statement carried by the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang shot back at Washington for involving itself in North Korea's dispute with the South.
The day prior, a spokesperson for the US State Department told Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency, "The United States has always supported progress in inter-Korean relations, and we are disappointed in the DPRK's recent actions. We urge the DPRK to return to diplomacy and cooperation. We remain in close coordination with our ally, the Republic of Korea, on efforts to engage the DPRK," the spokesperson said, using the official name of South Korea.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang announced it was severing communications with Seoul after hesitation to stop defectors from the North from distributing propaganda leaflets across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two countries.
"The South Korean authorities connived at the hostile acts against the DPRK by the riff-raff, while trying to dodge heavy responsibility with nasty excuses. This has driven the inter-Korean relations into a catastrophe," the statement carried by KCNA said. "We have reached a conclusion that there is no need to sit face to face with the south Korean authorities and there is no issue to discuss with them, as they have only aroused our dismay."
Pyongyang's relations with Seoul and Washington have steadily slid downhill in the last year, ever since February 2019 peace talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, collapsed amid mutual intransigence. As South Korea resumed military drills with the US that practiced a war with the North, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un renewed weapons tests, firing off short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. However, despite numerous accusations, Pyongyang has yet to renege on its self-imposed moratoria on nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile tests, which served as the basis for the rapprochement.
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