North Korea reacted to President Joe Biden calling the country a “security threat” during a joint address to Congress by saying the statement was a “big blunder” that could lead to the U.S. finding itself “in a very grave situation.”
In the speech, Biden said that nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran “present a serious threat to America’s security and world security.”
“We are going to work closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through diplomacy as well as stern deterrence,” Biden said.
Kwon Jong Gun, a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, responded in a statement, saying, “[Biden’s] 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.” (DPRK is an abbreviation for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.)
Kwon added, “It is certain that the U.S. chief executive made a big blunder in the light of the present-day viewpoint. Now that the keynote of the U.S. new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation.”
During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the U.S. is “prepared to engage in diplomacy” to accomplish “denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula.”
“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 towards reducing the challenge posed by North Korea’s nuclear program,” he told host Martha Raddatz.
On North Korea, White House national sec. adviser Jake Sullivan tells @MarthaRaddatz that the U.S. policy "is not aimed at hostility, it's aimed at solutions. It's aimed at ultimately achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." https://t.co/Q1ZKAFHT94 pic.twitter.com/5avZjxVpBO
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 2, 2021
But North Korea so far this year has continued to build up its missile capabilities. In late March, the country launched its first ballistic missile test in a year, a violation of international sanctions. A North Korean official issued another warning at that time, saying that if the U.S. keeps making “thoughtless remarks without thinking of the consequences, it may be faced with something that is not good.”