North Korea lashed out at both Seoul and Washington on Thursday, threatening to scrap key parts of agreements with South Korea and comparing the United States to a setting sun being eclipsed by China.
The attack on the U.S. comes as President Donald Trump is in an increasingly bitter standoff with China, blaming it for the spread of the COVID-19 and threatening action over its weakening of Hong Kong’s autonomy. And it follows Trump’s sputtering efforts to court the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and get North Korea to give up its nuclear arms.
Unrest in U.S.
In a statement carried by state media, North Korea also highlighted the unrest that has been consuming the U.S. over the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“Demonstrators enraged by the extreme racists throng even to the White House,” said the statement published by Rodong Sinmun , North Korea’s main state-run newspaper. “This is the reality in the U.S. today. American liberalism and democracy put the cap of leftist on the demonstrators and threaten to unleash even dogs for suppression.”
The statement, from an arm of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, excoriated Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, for criticising the Communist Party of China during a televised interview Sunday. In the interview, Mr. Pompeo accused the Chinese party of being “intent upon the destruction of Western ideas, Western democracies, Western values.”
Mr. Pompeo also said that the U.S. could work with its allies around the world, including South Korea, to “ensure that the next century remains a Western one modelled on the freedoms that we have here in the U.S.”
The statement carried by Rodong Sinmun said Mr. Pompeo’s remarks showed that “he is nervous over the plight of the U.S. on the downhill side” in relation to an ascendant China.
“Pompeo, who has been engrossed in espionage and plot-breeding against other countries, has become too ignorant to discern where the sun rises and where it sets,” the statement read.
North Korea also fumed over another development: the recent release of anti-North Korean leaflets by defectors from the North, who used balloons to send them across the inter-Korean border. North Korea has long bristled at this propaganda tactic, as well as radio broadcasts from defectors in the South that depict Mr. Kim as a cretinous dictator toying with nuclear weapons.
In another statement carried on Thursday by Rodong Sinmun , Kim Yo Jong, Mr. Kim’s sister and his de facto spokeswoman, assailed the propaganda campaign. “What matters is that those human scum hardly worth their value as human beings had the temerity of faulting our supreme leadership and citing ‘nuclear issue,’”she said.
If South Korea does not stop the leaflets, she said, North Korea could scrap an agreement between Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in, to operate a joint liaison office and cease all hostile military acts along the border.