SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” accusing her of inciting anti-US sentiment. North Korea and China angered during their tour of Asia earlier this week.
Pelosi traveled to South Korea after visiting Taiwan, prompting China to launch military exercises including missile training in waters near the self-governing island. China sees Taiwan as part of its own territory to be forcibly annexed if necessary.
While in South Korea, Pelosi visited an area bordering North Korea and discussed the North’s nuclear program with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo. According to Kim, the two agreed to support their governments’ push for denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula on the basis of strong and extended deterrence against the North and diplomacy.
On Saturday, Jo Yong Sam, director general of North Korea’s foreign ministry’s press and information affairs department, sharply criticized Pelosi for her visit to the border and discussion of deterrence against North Korea.
“Pelosi, who had come under a barrage of criticism from China for destroying regional peace and stability by visiting Taiwan, stirred up the atmosphere of confrontation” with North Korea during her stay in South Korea, Jo said in a statement. statement released by state media. .
Calling Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” Jo argued that Pelosi’s behavior in South Korea clearly showed the Biden administration’s hostile policy toward North Korea.
“It would be a fatal mistake for her to think that she can get away with it on the Korean peninsula,” Jo warned. “The United States will have to pay a heavy price for all the sources of trouble generated by her wherever she has gone.”
Pelosi’s visit to the Joint Security Area on the border with Korea on Thursday made her the most high-profile American to go there since then-President Donald Trump visited in 2019 to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Located within the most heavily fortified border in the world, the area is jointly controlled by the US-led United Nations Command and North Korea. US presidents and other top officials have previously traveled to the area to reaffirm their security commitment to South Korea in times of animosity with North Korea.
During her visit to the JSA, Pelosi made no strong public statements against North Korea. He posted several photos of the JSA on Twitter and wrote, “We convey the gratitude of Congress and the country for the patriotic service of our service members, who stand as sentinels of democracy on the Korean Peninsula.”
Pelosi said in a separate statement that she and Kim, the speaker of South Korea’s parliament, reaffirmed “our commitment to the U.S.-Korea alliance to promote security, strengthen our supply chains, and increase trade and investment that they are beneficial to both nations.”
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high following North Korea’s torrid series of missile tests earlier this year. US and South Korean officials have said North Korea is ready to carry out its first nuclear weapons test in five years.
North Korea has said it will not return to denuclearization talks and will instead focus on expanding its nuclear program unless the United States abandons its hostile policies, in an apparent reference to US-led international sanctions against North Korea. North and its regular military exercises with South Korea.
After Pelosi visited Taiwan and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending democracy on the autonomous island, North Korea issued a statement on Wednesday rebuking the United States and supporting China, its main ally and biggest aid benefactor. .
Pelosi was the first House Speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
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