SEOUL — North Korea’s state media on Monday criticized the US for lifting restrictions on South Korea’s means to construct extra highly effective ballistic missiles in its first response to the summit between President Biden and Moon Jae-in, the chief of South Korea, earlier this month.
North Korea warned that lifting the restrictions would elevate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and set off an arms race.
Through the summit assembly between Mr. Biden and Mr. Moon, the allies agreed to terminate the so-called missile tips which have been imposed on South Korea since 1979 and positioned limits on the vary and warhead weight of ballistic missiles South Korea was allowed to develop.
Earlier than the summit, Washington had already lifted the payload restrict on South Korean missiles to assist the nation counter the North’s rising nuclear and missile risk.
However till this month, South Korea had been banned from growing ballistic missiles with a variety of greater than 497 miles. With the rules lifted fully, South Korea can now construct ballistic missiles that may fly far past the peninsula, though it has by no means introduced such a plan.
The lifting of the missile cap “is a stark reminder of the U.S. hostile coverage towards the DPRK and its shameful double-dealing,” stated an announcement carried by the North’s official Korean Central Information Company, utilizing the acronym of the North’s official identify, the Democratic Individuals’s Republic of Korea.
The assertion marked the primary time North Korea’s state media reacted to the Moon-Biden summit. It was attributed to Kim Myong-chol, “a world affairs critic,” fairly than a authorities company, indicating that Pyongyang was nonetheless growing an official authorities response.
North Korea has usually used numerous channels, together with official authorities statements or state-media commentaries just like the one on Monday, to reply to diplomatic bulletins.
Throughout their summit, Mr. Biden and Mr. Moon agreed to search “diplomacy and dialogue” with the North, and to construct on the 2018 Singapore settlement, which former President Donald J. Trump signed with North Korea’s chief, Kim Jong-un.
Washington additionally stated it could take a “calibrated” and “sensible” method towards the North, though Mr. Biden stated he wouldn’t meet with Mr. Kim until he first made a dedication to remove the nation’s nuclear weapons.
South Korea has been build up its protection capabilities towards North Korea as a part of a long-term effort to regain wartime operational management of its personal navy. Wartime operational management of the South Korean navy has been within the arms of American generals because the 1950-53 Korean Conflict.
In its assertion on Monday, North Korea didn’t straight touch upon Washington’s North Korea coverage, solely saying “numerous international locations” seen the coverage as “trickery.” The assertion known as the lifting of the missile tips an “apparently deliberate and hostile act.”
It additionally accused the US of making use of a double customary by punishing the North’s improvement of ballistic missiles with sanctions whereas giving “a inexperienced mild for South Korea to develop missiles with all components of the DPRK and neighboring international locations within the hanging vary.”
By eliminating the missile tips, Washington aimed to create an “arms race on the Korean Peninsula and in its surrounding areas, and test the event of the DPRK,” the assertion stated.
As North Korea’s arsenal has grown, South Korea has tried to maintain up by constructing extra highly effective missiles, some able to hitting North Korean underground missile bases and management bunkers.
North Korea launched a brand new ballistic missile in March — the primary such check by the nation in a 12 months and its first important provocation towards the US underneath Mr. Biden. Its assertion on Monday warned that lifting the missile tips justified its personal navy buildup.
“Now that the U.S. and the South Korean authorities made clear their ambition of aggression, they’re left with no causes in any respect to fault the DPRK bolstering its capabilities for self-defense,” it stated.