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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korea’s externally-focused media on Tuesday disparaged the South Korean President’s “servile, disgraceful” decision to purchase U.S.-produced weapons and his new initiative to transform the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into an international peace zone.
Uriminzokkiri, which primarily targets South Korean audiences, criticized the commitment made by President Moon Jae-in at his ninth face-to-face meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in September to acquire weapons from the U.S.
“The South Korean chief executive, who went on a junket to the U.S. not long ago, made the servile, disgraceful act of accepting his master’s request that compels the purchase of U.S.-produced weapons,” Uriminzokkiri said, without referring to the ROK President by name.
Uriminzokkiri noted that the U.S. “clamored that South Korea is one of their ‘largest purchasers of military equipment,” citing Trump’s remarks before the summit.
The North Korean external media satirized the remarks made by Trump before his meeting with Moon kicked off, but it also did not refer to the U.S. President by name in the Korean-language commentary written by Hong Myong Hun.
Uriminzokkiri continued that the U.S. “coerced [South Korea] to increase ‘defense-cost sharing’ and purchase more U.S.-produced weapons” at the meeting.
“In response, the South Korean authorities again promised to purchase 10 trillion won’s worth (around USD $10 billion) of U.S. weapons over the next three years, emphasizing that it has hitherto purchased large amounts of U.S. weapons.”
Following the ninth summit, a South Korean senior presidential official did confirm to the media that Moon explained the details of the last 10 years of weapons purchases and discussed plans for the next three years.
“We cannot repress our astonishment at the South Korean authorities’ pro-American and submissive act, they would even serve and offer their heart and gallbladder if that was the request of their master,” Uriminzokkiri said.
“Through [the decision to purchase U.S. weapons], the South Korean authorities’ pitiable position… as well as the U.S.’s disgusting and global mindset in which South Korea is merely considered a logistics base for realizing [U.S.] strategy to dominate the world is… revealed in detail once again.”
Uriminzokkiri also criticized the South Korean authorities, who “clamor for ‘dialogue’ and ‘peace’ every time they open their mouths,” for publicly scheming to “bring more treacherous war weapons for invading North Korea.”
The North Korean media said these acts cannot be ignored regardless of excuses made by the South Korean government.
“The South Korean authorities’ imprudent measure of purchasing weapons for aggression on a large scale is an intolerable act of betrayal against inter-Korean agreements and an anti-national crime that drives the ravages of war to the Korean peninsula,” it said.
“Reality shows our nation cannot escape from the ever-increasing danger of aggressive war, let alone improve inter-Korean relations, unless the South Korean authorities break away from their deep-rooted [policy] of following the U.S.”
Uriminzokkiri warned that the “South Korean authorities should clearly understand that the only things the machinations of purchasing U.S.-produced weapons cause are the breakdown of inter-Korean relations, the deterioration of the situation on the Korean peninsula, and irreparable regret and ruin.”
The North Korean party daily Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday also criticized U.S. demands to increase defense-cost sharing and the ROK-U.S. alliance.
“The ‘alliance’ with South Korea that the U.S. talks about is only for the sake of realizing its own interests,” the Rodong Sinmun said in an analysis written by Ho Yong Min.
“This is a humiliating measure to make South Korea more thoroughly submissive to the aggressive and greedy interests of the U.S.”
The party daily also attacked the South Korean government’s act of “being pushed around by their master’s demand while biting the bullet.”
“The increase in ‘defense-cost sharing’… is the increase in the cost for war,” it continued. “And therefore it is the manifestation of [South Korea’s] dangerous attempt to confront us militarily with their master.”
In a separate contribution, Uriminzokkiri denounced Moon’s new initiative of transforming the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into an “international peace zone,” which was proposed at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September.
The North Korean externally-focussed media pointed to discord between the South Korean government’s words and actions, denouncing the joint drills and the South’s acquisition of “expensive high-tech weapons” including RQ-4 Global Hawks and F-35A stealth fighter jets.
Uriminzokkri also criticized the first displaying of the stealth jets at a ceremony marking South Korea’s 71st Armed Forces Day.
“Nevertheless, the South Korean authorities comment on such things as [transforming] the ‘demilitarized zone into an international peace zone’ on the international stage,” the media said.
The initiative “aims to conceal the [South’s] criminal nature of infringing upon peace on the Korean peninsula by staging war rehearsals with the U.S. for invading North Korea and their scheme to purchase weapons for aggression.”
Another goal is to “internationalize the Demilitarized Zone at the Military Demarcation Line, which is the tragic product of the division of the nation.”
“The South Korean authorities…must immediately stop their reckless farce of anti-DPRK confrontation that drives inter-Korean relations to collapse,” it said.
“The South Korean authorities should clearly be aware that they will be bound to lose faith and be ostracized if they play differently on the front and back as well as on the inside and outside.”
Edited by James Fretwell
Featured image: Blue House