North Korea accuses US of 'evil ambition'

WASHINGTON • Pyongyang has accused the United States of showing bad faith in negotiations by conducting nuclear and missile tests and military drills as part of an "evil ambition" to conquer North Korea by force, even while advocating dialogue.

In the latest uptick in angry rhetoric from Pyongyang after a failed summit with the US in February, a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement on Wednesday repeated complaints about an ongoing US sanctions campaign, including the seizure of one of the country's biggest cargo ships, and warned that "use of strength is not at all a monopoly of the US".

The statement, attributed to the policy research director of the ministry's Institute for American Studies, and carried by official media, noted that the US had conducted a sub-critical nuclear test on Feb 13, just days before a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi.

"The US has thus showcased its ulterior intention that it seeks a strength-based solution of the issues, though outwardly it advocates for dialogue," it said.

It aimed fresh attacks at Mr Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing them and other high-ranking American officials of having "insulted the dignity of our supreme leadership and spitted out abusive language" by calling North Korea a "rogue regime".

It also accused the US officials of a "hostile scheme to stifle us by force" by warning that Washington would "change its path" if North Korea did not give up its nuclear weapons.

The statement also condemned recent US-South Korean military exercises and US missile defence drills and test launches of intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

 
 
 

It also complained of increasing reconnaissance flights over North Korea and accused Washington of "manoeuvres" to deploy sophisticated landing craft in Japan and nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missiles around the Korean peninsula.

"All the above clearly shows that the June 12... joint statement is not within the consideration of the US and there is no change at all in the American evil ambition to conquer (North Korea) by force," it said, referring to a commitment by Mr Trump and Mr Kim at their first summit in Singapore last year to establish a new era of relations.

"The US should better bear in mind that its hostile acts will only bring about the result of adding tension to the already unstable Korean peninsula and inviting adverse current. Use of strength is not at all a monopoly of the US," the statement said.

A spokesman for the US State Department said Washington remained committed to the goals agreed by Mr Trump and Mr Kim "of transformed US-North Korean relations, building lasting peace, and complete denuclearisation".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2019, with the headline 'North Korea accuses US of 'evil ambition''. Print Edition | Subscribe