N.Korea Harangues South as Trump Downplays Missile Tests

  • By Yoon Hyung-jun

    August 12, 2019 13:09

    North Korea sent a warning message to South Korea on Sunday, buoyed by pooh-poohing of its recent missile tests by U.S. President Donald Trump and soothing noises from Seoul.

    In a statement, North Korean Foreign Ministry official Kwon Jong-gun said, "Given that the military exercise clearly puts us as an enemy in its concept, they should think that an inter-Korean contact itself will be difficult to be made unless they put an end to such a military exercise or before they make a plausible excuse or an explanation in a sincere manner for conducting the military exercise."

    "Note clearly that the dialogue will be held between [North Korea] and the U.S., not between the two Koreas, even if we come to the dialogue table in a favorable situation in the future," he added.

    That pours more cold water on the South Korean government's ambitions to act as a mediator in denuclearization talks.

    "Even the U.S. president made a remark which in effect recognized the self-defensive rights of a sovereign state, saying that it is a small missile test which a lot of countries do," the North Korean official said. "But the South Korean authorities call the building of our self-defense armed forces as a military tension while urging to stop it. Then how can the South Korean authorities have the cheek to utter such nonsense?"

    U.S. President Donald Trump has said that Pyongyang is testing only "smaller" missiles, saying that he has "no problem" with those tests. 

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