North Korea has warned the United States to “refrain from causing a stink” if it wants to “sleep in peace” for the next four years, in the country’s first comments directed at the Biden administration.
Leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister issued a statement as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Asia to talk with US allies Japan and South Korea about North Korea and other regional issues. They have meetings in Tokyo on Tuesday before speaking to officials in Seoul on Wednesday.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off (gun) powder smell in our land,” Kim Yo Jong said. “If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
Kim Yo Jong, a senior official who handles inter-Korean affairs, also criticized the US and South Korea for holding military exercises. She also said the North would consider abandoning a 2018 bilateral agreement on reducing military tensions and abolish a decades-old ruling party unit tasked to handle inter-Korean relations if it no longer had to cooperate with the South.
A senior official from the Biden administration said Saturday that US officials have tried to reach out to North Korea through multiple channels since last month, but had yet to receive a response. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the diplomatic outreach and spoke on condition of anonymity.