North Korea’s supreme decision-making body lashed out Wednesday at planned U.S.-South Korean military drills and warned that the United States will face a “bigger threat and harsh suffering” if it ignores North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s end-of-year deadline to salvage nuclear talks.
“If the current flow in the political situation doesn’t change, the United States will soon face a bigger threat and harsh suffering that will force them to acknowledge their mistake.”
Last week, senior North Korean diplomat Kwon Jong Gun said a joint aerial exercise planned by the U.S. and South Korea in coming weeks amounted to “throwing a wet blanket over the spark” of nuclear negotiations that are “on the verge of extinction.” Kwon said North Korea’s patience was nearing its limit and that it will “never remain an onlooker” to “reckless military moves.”
The talks have faltered since the collapse of a February summit between Trump and Kim in Vietnam, where the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for the partial surrendering of its nuclear capabilities.
North Korea responded with intensified testing activity and Kim said he would “wait with patience until the end of the year for the United States to come up with a courageous decision.” Kim has also said that North Korea would seek a “new way” if the United States persists with sanctions and pressure.