North Korea on Saturday called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” accusing her of inciting anti-Korean sentiment and having enraged China during their Asian tour earlier this week.
Pelosi traveled to South Korea after visiting Taiwan, prompting China to launch military exercises including missile firing training in waters near the self-governing island. China views Taiwan as part of its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
While in South Korea, Pelosi visited a border area with North Korea and discussed the North’s nuclear program with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo. According to Kim, the two men agreed to support their governments’ efforts for denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula based on strong and extensive deterrence against the North and diplomacy.
On Saturday, Jo Yong Sam, director general of the press and information affairs department of North Korea’s foreign ministry, criticized Pelosi for his visit to the border and his discussion of anti-North Korean deterrence.
“Pelosi, who had come under fire from China for destroying regional peace and stability by visiting Taiwan, stoked the atmosphere of confrontation” with North Korea during his time in South Korea, Jo said in a statement carried by state media. .
Calling Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” Jo argued that Pelosi’s behavior in South Korea clearly showed the Biden administration’s hostile policy towards North Korea.
“It would be a fatal mistake for her to think she can stay unscathed on the Korean Peninsula,” Jo warned. “The United States will have to pay dearly for every source of trouble caused by her wherever she went.”
Pelosi’s visit to the Joint Security Area on the Korean border on Thursday made her the most high-profile American to go there since President Donald Trump visited in 2019 for a meeting with the North Korean leader. Kim Jong Un.
Located inside the most heavily fortified border in the world, the area is jointly controlled by the United Nations Command led by the United States and North Korea. US presidents and other senior officials have previously traveled to the region to reaffirm their security commitment to South Korea in times of animosity with North Korea.
During his visit to the JSA, Pelosi made no strong public statements against North Korea. She uploaded several photos of the JSA to Twitter and wrote, “We have conveyed the gratitude of Congress and the country for the patriotic service of our military, who are sentinels of democracy on the Korean Peninsula.”
Pelosi said in a separate statement that she and Kim, the speaker of South Korea’s parliament, reaffirmed “our commitment to the U.S.-Korea alliance to advance security, strengthen our supply chains, and increase trade and investments that benefit both of our nations”.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high after North Korea’s series of searing missile tests earlier this year. US and South Korean officials have said North Korea is ready to conduct its first nuclear weapons test in five years.
North Korea has said it will not return to denuclearization talks and will instead focus on expanding its nuclear program unless the United States abandons its hostile policies, in an apparent reference to international sanctions directed by the United States against the North and its regular military exercises with South Korea.
After Pelosi visited Taiwan and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island, North Korea issued a statement on Wednesday scolding the United States and supporting China, its main ally and the greatest benefactor of aid.
Pelosi was the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.