President Joe Biden's recent speech, newly completed policy review, and his administration's comments on human rights show he is intent on maintaining a hostile policy toward North Korea, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
In a statement carried by KCNA news agency, a ministry spokesman accused Washington of insulting the dignity of the country's supreme leadership by criticizing North Korea's human rights situation.
The human rights criticism is a provocation that shows the United States is "girding itself up for an all-out showdown" with North Korea, and will be answered accordingly, the unnamed spokesman said.
In a separate statement, Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, cited Biden's first policy speech to Congress on Wednesday, where the new president said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through "diplomacy and stern deterrence."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said it is illogical and an encroachment upon North Korea's right to self-defense for the United States to call its defensive deterrence a threat.
Biden's speech was "intolerable" and "a big blunder," Kim said. "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," he said, using the initials for North Korea's official name.
The White House said on Friday that U.S. officials had completed a months-long review of North Korean policy.
Under that policy, Biden has settled on a new approach to pressuring North Korea to give up nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that will explore diplomacy but not seek a grand bargain with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In Sunday's statement, Kwon Jong Gun said U.S. talk of diplomacy is aimed at covering up its hostile acts, and its deterrence is just a means for posing nuclear threats to North Korea.
Now that Biden's policy has become clear, North Korea "will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation," he concluded.
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