DPRK Leader Kim Jong-un Offers to Reopen Inter-Korean Hotlines, Tells South to Drop ‘Delusions’ of Provocations from Pyongyang

 

DPRK leader Kim Jong-un has said he is willing to restore a hotline between the two Koreas, but he says Seoul must drop its “delusion” that its northern neighbor wants to cause it any harm or provoke.

DPRK state media KCNA reported on Thursday that Kim had expressed interest in reviving the severed telephone channels from October “as part of the efforts for realizing the expectations and desire of the entire Korean nation to see the earlier recovery of the north-south relations … and durable peace settling in the Korean peninsula.”

Speaking at the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim remarked that inter-Korean relations “stand at a crossroads”.

According to him, ties must either take the course of advancing towards reconciliation and cooperation, or suffer national division “amid a vicious cycle of confrontation.”

Pyongyang refused to answer a routine call in August in protest over joint South Korea-US military drills being held, with Kim Yo-jong, [vice minister of party central committee[, accusing Seoul of engaging in “perfidious behavior.”

The refusal followed the reopening of the channel in June, after the connection had been severed a year earlier due to bad relations between the two countries.

Following the decision to cut ties, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean border office in Kaesong that facilitated communication.

The North Korean leader now says that restoration depends on the attitude of Seoul’s authorities.

He added that Pyongyang has “neither aim nor reason” to provoke its southerly neighbor.

“It is necessary for South Korea to promptly get rid of the delusion, crisis awareness and awareness of getting harmed that it should deter the North’s provocation.”

Kim also accused Seoul and the US of destroying the stability and balance of the peninsula and causing more complicated dangers through excessive military presence and activities.

Taking special aim at Washington, Kim accused the White House of proposing talks with Pyongyang without changing its “hostile policy” and even using “more cunning ways and methods.”

However, the US rebuffed Kim’s claims and urged for the nation to return to dialogue, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

North Korea has launched several projectiles in recent weeks, with Pyongyang firing a new “hypersonic missile” off its east coast on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, one test reportedly involved deploying a long-range cruise missile, as well as a newly developed rail-borne warhead.

Seoul also recently fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile; Pyongyang blasted its southerly neighbor’s attempt as “sloppy” and “self-comforting,” warning that this could derail the peninsula’s peace.

 

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Pyongyang tested new air defense system amid recent volley of missile launches – state media

 

North Korea test-fired a newly developed ‘anti-aircraft’ missile, the country’s state media reported, offering few details.

It comes amid a flurry of similar tests in recent days, reportedly including a new “hypersonic” weapon.

“The Academy of Defence Science of the DPRK test-fired an anti-aircraft missile newly developed by it on September 30,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported, as cited by Yonhap News.

KCNA added that the test aimed to review the operation of the missile itself, as well as its launcher, battle command vehicle and radar system.

While the North Korean media did not elaborate on the reported test, it follows another launch announced the day prior which purportedly tested a new “hypersonic” munition, or a missile capable of traveling at five times the speed of sound, known as Mach 5, or faster.

Another newly developed rail-borne missile system was also tested prior to that.

 

Asked about the earlier missile tests during a Thursday press conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters the Joe Biden administration is monitoring the situation and is “concerned” about the launches, also noting that Washington’s envoy to Pyongyang is now in discussions with his counterparts from Seoul and Tokyo about next steps.

“On North Korea, we’re evaluating and assessing the launches… to understand exactly what they did, what technology they used. But regardless, we’ve seen repeated violations now of UN Security Council resolutions that the international community needs to take very seriously,” Blinken said, referring to Security Council measures barring North Korea from such weapons tests.

We are concerned about these repeated violations of Security Council resolutions that create, I think, greater prospects for instability and insecurity.

Breaking with his country’s typically aggressive rhetoric, on Thursday North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed interest in re-engagement with the south, hoping to eventually see “durable peace settling in the Korean peninsula.”

The overture came after the two Koreas agreed to reopen a cross-border communications channel shuttered the year prior, what Pyongyang hailed as a “big step” toward restoring trust between the two sides.

However, the north has argued time and again that Washington stands in the way of Korean rapprochement, with the country’s ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song delivering a fiery address before the General Assembly in New York this week.

In the speech, Kim outlined Pyongyang’s grievances with the United States and its “hostile” policies – chief among them the stationing of tens of thousands of American troops south of the DMZ, as well as regular joint military drills with Seoul “of intimidating nature.”

“The US’ hostile policy against the DPRK finds its clearest expression in its military threats against us,” he said, using the acronym for the formal name of his country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Not a single foreign troop, not a single foreign military base exists in the territory of the DPRK. But, in South Korea, almost 30,000 US troops are stationed at numerous military bases, maintaining a war posture to take military action against the DPRK at any moment.

 

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Pyongyang launches ‘unidentified projectile’ just as North Korean ambassador takes UN stage – reports

 

North Korea has fired an unidentified munition off its east coast, according to Japanese and South Korean military sources cited in local media, just as Pyongyang’s envoy took the stage to address the United Nations in New York.

The Japanese government announced a “possible ballistic missile” launch from North Korea on Tuesday, according to sources cited by Kyodo News and NHK, while South Korea’s Yonhap News noted that Pyongyang fired at least one “unidentified” projectile into the East Sea, citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, though provided few other details on the purported launch.

Reports of the apparent test fire made the rounds just as North Korea’s UN ambassador, Kim Song, delivered a speech before the General Assembly in New York City, where he repeatedly condemned what he called a “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang from the United States and allied nations, including the stationing of thousands of American troops in the south.

“The US’ hostile policy against the DPRK finds its clearest expression in its military threats against us,” he said, using the acronym for the formal name of his country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Not a single foreign troop, not a single foreign military base exists in the territory of the DPRK. But, in South Korea, almost 30,000 US troops are stationed at numerous military bases, maintaining a war posture to take military action against the DPRK at any moment.

While Kim noted that North Korea has never conducted a single military exercise near US territory, Washington has regularly staged “military demonstrations of intimidating nature” on the Korean peninsula and in Korean waters in conjunction with the government in Seoul over the last several decades.

The envoy also stated that while many fellow UN member states believe the antagonism with the United States stems solely from North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, he argued that is not the case, as the hostile policies began long before it developed its home-grown nuclear arsenal.

“From the very first day of the foundation of the DPRK, the US has not recognized our sovereignty, treating us as an enemy state and openly showing its hostility toward the socialist system chosen by our people,” Kim said.

The US, the biggest nuclear power in the world, has been posing a nuclear threat and antagonizing the DPRK for more than 70 years. The US hostile policy toward the DPRK is not at all abstract. [We face] military threats and hostile acts from the US every day.

If confirmed, the latest reported missile launch could mark Pyongyang’s sixth major weapons test conducted so far in 2021, according to Yonhap.

Earlier this month, North Korean state media reported a successful launch of a new, rail-borne munition, which followed another series of tests in the weeks prior, one reportedly involving a newly developed long-range cruise missile.

Such tests are routinely denounced by Washington, which itself regularly conducts large-scale war games with Seoul.

In line with Kim’s comments before the UN, Pyongyang has repeatedly condemned the drills as provocative and inherently threatening, saying they effectively simulate an invasion of the north.

Though former US President Donald Trump briefly negotiated a ‘freeze-for-freeze’ deal, agreeing to halt the drills in exchange for a pause on Pyongyang’s weapons tests, the pact quickly fell through, seeing the drills and tests resume.

 

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Republished by The 21st Century

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 21cir.

 

 

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