DPRK slams UN chief denuclearization calls
The DPRK hits out at the head of the United Nations over his statements in South Korea relating to denuclearizing the country.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) criticized Sunday United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over his calls for "completely and verifiably" denuclearizing Pyongyang during his visit to Seoul.
Guterres met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on Friday. He took the opportunity during the meeting to underline the UN's commitment to a fully denuclearized DPRK as a divided Security Council allows more room for Pyongyang to expand its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.
The issue at hand is a "fundamental objective to bring peace, security, and stability to the whole region," Guterres said.
DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Son Gyong denounced the UN chief, accusing him of showing "sympathy" for the hostile policy of the United States.
"I cannot but express deep regret over the said remarks of the UN secretary-general that grossly lack impartiality and fairness," he said, as quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Kim said the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation" of North Korea was "an infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK."
"We advise Secretary-General Guterres to be careful in making such dangerous words and deeds as pouring gasoline on flames," he stressed.
The DPRK has fired more than 30 ballistic missile tests this year, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017, as leader Kim Jong Un pushes to advance his nuclear arsenal despite what Pyongyang referred to as "gangster-like" US pressure and sanctions.
Kim previously stressed that Pyongyang was ready to mobilize its nuclear war deterrent, warning that Seoul was pushing toward the verge of war.
Experts claim that the abnormal fast pace in weapons demonstrations also accentuates brinkmanship targeted at forcing Washington to embrace the DPRK as nuclear power and to negotiate urgently needed sanctions relief and security concessions.
Although the Biden administration has said it would impose additional sanctions if the DPRK conducts more nuclear testing, the expectations for meaningful punitive measures are unclear.
China and Russia recently vetoed US-sponsored resolutions at the UN Security Council meeting that aimed to increase sanctions on the North over some of its ballistic missile testing this year, highlighting tension between the council's members that has strained over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.