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North Korea says Biden has a 'hostile policy', warns of response

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US President Joe Biden. AFP

North Korea says Biden has a 'hostile policy', warns of response

North Korea on May 2 accused US President Joe Biden of pursuing a hostile policy, dismissing "spurious" US diplomacy and warning of a response.

Biden had said on April 28 that his administration would deal with the threat posed by Pyongyang's nuclear programme "through diplomacy as well as stern deterrence".

The White House on April 30 said the president was open to negotiations with North Korea on denuclearisation following the completion of a policy review, but Pyongyang said Biden had made 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," foreign ministry official Kwon Jung-gun said in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The US-claimed 'diplomacy' is a spurious signboard for covering up its hostile acts, and 'deterrence' touted by it is just a means for posing nuclear threats to the DPRK," Kwon added, using the official name of North Korea. "Now that the keynote of the US’ new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures."

The White House on April 30 said its goal remains "the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki gave little indication of what kind of diplomatic initiative this could entail, but suggested that the president had learned from the experience of his predecessors, who struggled to deal with North Korea's leadership and its nuclear weapons programme.

But Psaki said Washington would not "focus on achieving a grand bargain", apparently referring to the kind of dramatic overarching deal that former president Donald Trump initially suggested was possible when he met with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

In a separate statement through the KCNA on May 2, North Korea also accused the US of insulting its leadership and its anti-coronavirus measures, referring to a State Department press release on April 28.

State Department spokesman Ned Price had issued a statement that day criticising North Korea's human rights abuses and Covid-19 curbs, describing it as "one of the most repressive and totalitarian states in the world".

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