March 1, 2024

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

Jorge Silva | Reuters

WASHINGTON – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister sent eerie news to the United States on Tuesday as Biden government officials arrived in Japan and South Korea for high-level talks.

“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration that is trying to give something [gun] The smell of powder in our country, “Kim Yo Jong said in a statement referring to joint US and South Korean military exercises in the region.

“If it [the U.S.] wants to sleep in peace for the next four years, it should be better not to cause a smell at the first step, “she added, according to an English translation.

Kim’s comments, broadcast by the Korean state Central News Agency, are the first reactions from Pyongyang since President Joe Biden took office and coincided with the arrival of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in the area.

Blinken and Austin arrived in Japan on Tuesday on their first overseas trip under Biden’s leadership and will travel to South Korea on Wednesday. The couple plan to reaffirm U.S. commitments in the region and discuss ongoing security challenges, including North Korea.

“In order to reduce the risk of an escalation, we contacted the North Korean government channels from mid-February, including in New York. So far we have not received a response from Pyongyang,” said Blinken during a press conference on Tuesday. “This followed for over a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the United States.”

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When asked about Kim’s remarks on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the Biden administration has no “direct comment or answer”.

But she went on to say: “”Our goal will always be diplomacy and denuclearization in North Korea. We are currently focused on working with and coordinating with our partners and allies on a number of issues, including security in the region. ”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Biden administration not to give up crippling economic pressure on North Korea.

“I hope that this administration will work with North Korea under the same massive sanctions regime as we are, which really put pressure on Chairman Kim to come to the table,” Pompeo told Fox Business on Sunday. “We’ve made some good progress. We didn’t make it to the end. We got them to stop long-range missile testing, a big deal for the United States and our security,” he added.

The Trump administration made initial strides with North Korea, but negotiations broke down more than a year ago after the US refused to grant sanctions in exchange for Pyongyang’s dismantling of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

The Biden government has tried unsuccessfully to resume nuclear talks with North Korea.

Under third-generation North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the withdrawn state carried out its most powerful nuclear test, launched its first ballistic ICBM and threatened to launch missiles into waters near Guam’s territory.

Since 2011, Kim has fired more than 100 missiles and conducted four nuclear weapon tests. This is more than what his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung fired over a 27 year period.