North Korea has blasted what it’s calling a “hostile policy” in the wake of the Biden White House lifting restrictions on South Korea’s ballistic missile program, which is now authorized to develop missiles capable of traveling beyond prior limitations.
During a May 21 US-South Korea summit the US side announced Seoul is now free to pursue missiles with unlimited ranges, but the statement out of a Pyongyang official said this will inevitably lead to an “acute and instable situation”, according to the Associated Press. Previously the US imposed a limit of a 500 mile range (800km) on the south’s missiles on concerns of a regional arms race.
AP notes of the Monday statements of condemnation, however, that they come from an individual state media commentator – identified as Kim Myong Chol (said to have been a close associate of the late Kim Jong-il)- and not necessarily from a government entity itself.
“The termination step is a stark reminder of the U.S. hostile policy toward (North Korea) and its shameful double-dealing,” he said according to the official Korean Central News Agency. “It is engrossed in confrontation despite its lip-service to dialogue.”
“The U.S. is mistaken, however. It is a serious blunder for it to pressurize (North Korea) by creating asymmetric imbalance in and around the Korean Peninsula as this may lead to the acute and instable situation on the Korean Peninsula now technically at war,” the commentator added.
Kim further accused the US and South precisely of attempting to stoke an arms race in lifting the range restrictions on ballistic missiles, which the policy was designed to prevent. Monday’s reaction out of state media is the first significant response in the wake of the South Korean ballistic missile program policy change.
North Korea’s state media criticized the recent termination of a pact between the United States and South Korea that capped the development of South Korea’s ballistic missiles, calling it a sign of Washington’s ‘shameful double-dealing’ https://t.co/6N23J1AZKG
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 31, 2021
All of this follows the Biden administration saying that it does not imagine any “grand bargain” on the horizon with Kim Jong Un – in contrast to the Trump administration’s ambitious pursuits involving historic face-to-face meetings with the North Korean leader.