North Korea says the US faces “a very grave situation” and alleges President Joe Biden “made a big blunder” in his recent speech by calling the rogue nation a security threat.
Last week, Mr Biden, in his first address to Congress, described North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs as “serious threats” to American and global security.
He said he would work with allies to resolve the issues through diplomacy and stern deterrence.
“His statement clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward the DPRK as it had been done by the US for over half a century,” senior North Korean foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun said on Monday.
“It is certain that the US chief executive made a big blunder in the light of the present-day viewpoint.
“Now that the keynote of the US’s new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures and with time, the US will find itself in a very grave situation.”
Mr Kwon didn’t specify what steps North Korea would take. His statement could be seen as an effort to apply pressure on the Biden administration as it shapes its North Korea policy.
‘We’re not hostile’
Mr Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Sunday US policy was “not aimed at hostility, it’s aimed at solutions” and at “ultimately achieving the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.
“We’re prepared to engage in diplomacy towards that ultimate objective but work on practical measures that can help us make progress along the way towards that goal,” Mr Sullivan told ABC.
The White House officials have completed a review of policy on North Korea, with plans for Mr Biden to veer from the approaches of his two most recent predecessors in trying to stop the rogue nation’s nuclear program.
On Friday, press secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of detailing the review’s findings but suggested the new administration would seek the middle ground between Donald Trump’s “grand bargain” and Barack Obama’s “strategic patience” approaches.
After a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in 2016-17, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un launched summit diplomacy with Mr Trump on the future of his growing nuclear arsenal.
That diplomacy remains stalled for about two years amid differences in how much sanctions relief North Korea could win in return for limited denuclearisation steps.
In January, Mr Kim threatened to enlarge his nuclear arsenal and build more high-tech weapons targeting the US mainland, saying the fate of ties would depend on whether it abandoned its hostile policy.
In March, he conducted short-range missile tests for the first time in a year, though he still maintains a moratorium on bigger weapons launches.