US risks ‘all-out showdown’ warns North Korea, as Biden seeks nuclear limits

US President Joe Biden risks an an all-out showdown" with North Korea if he continues his effort to limit Pyonyang’s nuclear ambitions, a spokesman said on Sunday.

The warning, broadcast on state news agency KCNA, is a response to Biden’s speech in the US Congress on Wednesday, in which he promised nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would had to be addressed with “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.

Kwon Jong Gun, who is director general of the North Korean government’s US foreign affairs department, called Biden’s remarks criticising the hermit kingdom’s human rights record “intolerable” and “a big blunder”.

"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," Kwon said, referring to North Korea's official name – Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Under the policy announced on Friday, Biden has settled on a new approach to pressuring North Korea to give up nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that will explore diplomacy but not seek a grand bargain with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the White House said.

In Sunday's statement, Kwon said America's talk of diplomacy is aimed at covering up its own hostile acts, and its deterrence policy is just a means for posing nuclear threats to North Korea.

Now that Biden's policy has become clear, he added, North Korea "will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the US will find itself in a very grave situation".

"Our policy towards North Korea is not aimed at hostility. It's aimed at solutions," Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser, responded.

In a third statement, Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in the government and sister of leader Kim Jong Un, sharply criticised South Korea for failing to stop defector activists from launching anti-North Korea leaflets.

An activist group in South Korea said on Friday it had released balloons into North Korea carrying dollar bills and leaflets denouncing the government in Pyongyang, defying a recently imposed law banning such releases after complaints by the North. “

We regard the manoeuvres committed by the human wastes in the south as a serious provocation against our state and will look into corresponding action," Kim Yo Jong said.

Last year, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, after Kim Yo Jong led a campaign of criticism over the leaflet launches.

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