North Korea’s externally-focused outlet Uriminzokkiri on Monday slammed the U.S. and South Korea for a recent rise in tensions on the peninsula, mocking Seoul and Washington for “self-inflicted” anxiety over a high-profile nuclear or missile test by Pyongyang over the Christmas holidays.
In some of the outlet’s first articles of the year, the Uriminzokkiri said the U.S. and South Korea had spent a “tiring time” towards the end of 2019, “making hasty conclusion that the timing for implementing strategic measures targeted towards the U.S. is Christmas Day.”
Reporting on the mistaken triggering of an emergency siren on December 26 at a U.S. base in South Korea and Japanese broadcaster NHK’s false alert of a North Korean missile test, the outlet reported that the U.S. “became the scoff of the world.”
The article also cited unnamed South Korean media and expert claims that the end of the year was “entirely North Korea’s time,” and that it “succeeded in drawing attention from the international society and… pressuring the U.S.” and “swaying” U.S. President Donald Trump.
The final weeks of 2019 saw widespread fears that an unspecified “Christmas gift” threatened by a top North Korean official earlier in the month would be a long-range missile or nuclear test, but Christmas day passed without any provocative military action, and relative silence, from Pyongyang.
They then saw North Korea hold a major plenary meeting of its ruling party, at which leader Kim Jong Un appeared to announce a shift to a more hardline position for the country.
Notably absent from that speech, however, was much mention of the North’s relations with South Korea — or any mention of how the two might break an almost-year-long impasse in talks.
Uriminzokkiri on Monday took Seoul to task for this impasse, blasting recent comments by South Korean President Moon Jae-in in an article in Project Syndicate as “idle remarks.”
In the opinion piece, published last month and titled “Peace Through Myriad Acts,” the South Korean President said Seoul remains limited in how much progress it is capable of achieving in diplomacy with Pyongyang.
“Even if South Korea is desperate about peace, South Korea can’t speed up as it likes,” he wrote. “There are partners with whom one should create peace together, and there is international order.”
In response, Monday’s Uriminzokkiri article condemned Moon’s “lame excuse” about South Korea’s “pitiful situation,” saying that the country is “begging” the international society for cooperation.
Moon’s Project Syndicate piece also saw him reiterate his “three principles” on peace for the Korean peninsula: no war, mutual guarantee of security, and co-prosperity.
Thursday’s Uriminzokkiri article, in response, brushed off Moon’s “idle remarks” reiterating the principles “as if they are for guaranteeing our regime and security.”
South Korea, by holding joint military drills with the U.S. and acquiring advanced “offensive-type arms equipment,” it continued, drove the Korean peninsula into a state of confrontation, warning Seoul that it will “pay the price” for the rise in tensions.
Seoul’s policies were also the subject of ire in another externally-focused outlet on Monday, with an editorial by the Meari outlet slamming South Korean for continuing its “tiptoeing around the U.S.” and rejecting its offers to mediate talks between the DPRK and the U.S.
“It is obvious that [the North] does not feel the need to meet [their] counterpart again… as the South does not do its job,” that article said.
Edited by Oliver Hotham