Last week during the teleconference, Pompeo asked G7 foreign ministers to carry on placing “diplomatic and economic pressure [on North Korea] over its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
In a new statement from top North Korean officials issued via the state outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the office of the director general of the DPRK Foreign Ministry for negotiations with the US repeatedly called Pompeo’s remarks “reckless” and noted that the California native’s commentary sent mixed messages regarding the Trump administration’s intentions toward the DPRK.
“The US president sent our leadership his personal letter carrying a ‘sincere aid plan’ as regards [to] the issue of curbing [the] novel coronavirus … whereas the US secretary of state slanders the country, with which his president wants to establish good relations of cooperation,” reads the statement, according to a translation by KCNA Watch.
“This makes us misjudge who is the real chief executive in the US.”
“The reckless remarks made by Pompeo seriously impaired the signboard of dialogue put up by the US president as a decoy to buy time and create the environment favorable for himself, “ the release continued.
The statement further notes that North Korea has ceased its interest in continuing stalled denuclearization discussions with US officials. Although the office’s statement failed to specify its intended actions, it did indicate that North Korea would “repay the US with actual horror and unrest for the sufferings it has inflicted upon our people.”
“We will go our own way. We want the US not to bother us. If the US bothers us, it will be hurt,” the statement concludes.
The state’s remarks come amid renewed missile tests by North Korea which have seen multiple projectiles launched over regional bodies of water. Most recently, the DPRK deployed two short-range missiles over the weekend while carrying out tests of a “super-large” multiple rocket launcher.
The latest launches have only further bolstered calls for a restart in direct US-North Korean negotiations, which most recently came to an abrupt halt in February 2019 after US negotiators failed to offer North Korea sanctions relief during talks in Vietnam. At the time, US President Donald Trump told reporters after talks collapsed that “sometimes you have to walk” away with no deal in hand.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un first made it known during a New Year’s speech earlier this year that his government would increase the frequency of missile testing, as he was making the decision to abandon a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapon and missile tests. Kim stressed during the speech that so long as the US continued to impose its sanctions, he would continue carrying out tests on the Korean Peninsula.