N Korea warns US not to 'cause a stink' before Seoul meeting

North Korean official Kim Yo Jong who warned South Korea before the detonation of the inter Korean liaison office in Kaesong last year addressed the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden on Tuesday. File

Yo-Jong's statement marks Pyongyang's first comments towards President Biden's administration.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's powerful younger sister warned that Pyongyang could scrap the inter-Korean military agreement as she lambasted the annual joint military drills between Seoul and Washington. "There is no change in our position that inter-Korean relations should be improved at an early date and denuclearization dialogue should be resumed as soon as possible", a Unification Ministry official told reporters Tuesday.

The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned the USA not to "cause a stink", as President Joe Biden prepares to set out his Korean policy. "If they want to have a good night's sleep for the next four years, it would be good for them not to do things that would prevent them from sleeping properly from the start".

Kim Yo Jong, a senior official who handles inter-Korean affairs, also criticised the US and South Korea for holding military exercises.

The U.S. general also noted that Kim released himself from a moratorium on testing over a year ago.

North Korea would consider abandoning a 2018 bilateral agreement on reducing military tensions and abolish a decades-old ruling party unit tasked to handle inter-Korean relations if it no longer had to cooperate with the South, said Kim Yo Jong, a senior official who handles inter-Korean affairs for the North.

Her comments come a day before top USA officials are due to arrive in Seoul.

In a joint statement, the U.S. and Japanese officials called again for "the complete denuclearisation of North Korea" - a phrase that is anathema to Pyongyang, which prefers the broader and more ambiguous "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

The US government has said it has been trying for weeks to make diplomatic contact with North Korea.

Blinken said that Washington reached out to North Korea through several channels starting in mid-February, but it hasn't received any response. The official was not authorised to publicly discuss the diplomatic outreach and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Even during the testing lull, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for continued production of nuclear weapons for his arsenal, launched a series of smaller missiles and unveiled the ICBM.

Last week, the four-star admiral declared that the United States and its allies in the Pacific should be on guard as North Korea poses a "serious" and "immediate" threat, adding that the country over the years has continued to develop its nuclear and delivery systems that are created to strike the United States.

There has also been activity at North Korea's nuclear facility, Yongbyon, according to analysis of new satellite images published by 38 North, a prominent North Korea monitoring group.

While Kim in recent political speeches has vowed to strengthen his nuclear weapons program, he also has said the fate of United States relations depends on Washington's actions.

She said the "spring days" of 2018 - when Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held their first summit - "won't come easily again". The drills have been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer troops and carried out via a computer simulation with no outdoor drills or maneuvers.

"Now Kim's statement will be central to discussions".

There could be no contact nor dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang "until the U.S. withdraws its hostile DPRK policy", Yonhap cited Choe as saying in a statement carried by state media, referring to the North by its official name.

"War exercises and dialogue, hostility and cooperation can never exist together", she said in a statement carried by state media.

Mr Boo Seung-chan, a spokesman for South Korea's Ministry of Defence, said the drills were routine and defensive in nature.

There was a "high possibility" of a military provocation by North Korea during or immediately after the Americans' trip, he added.

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