North Korea has criticized US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her recent visit to the heavily fortified demilitarized zone, calling her the “worst destroyer of international peace.”
Pelosi, who visited Seoul earlier this week after a trip to Taiwan, became the highest-ranking US official to visit the Inter-Korean Joint Security Area since President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un there in 2019.
Before visiting Japan’s intelligence agency, Pelosi discussed the “dangerous situation” and the growing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program with her South Korean counterpart, National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo.
The two called for “strong and extensive deterrence against North Korea,” and pledged to support efforts by Washington and Seoul to achieve Pyongyang’s denuclearization.
On Saturday, North Korea denounced Ms. Pelosi for her discussions with Mr. Kim and her visit to the South Sudan Assembly.
At the head of the deterrence talks, Jo Yong Sam, a North Korean foreign affairs official, said, “Pelosi even appeared in the Panmunjom Joint Security Area, completely imagining the vision of the current US administration’s hostile policy toward the DPRK.” Ministry, using the official name of North Korea.
“The United States is adding fuel to the fire,” Jo added in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang.
The South Sudanese army is the only place along the tense 250-kilometre border where soldiers from North Korea and the US-led UN Command come face to face.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan also sparked threats and extensive military exercises from China, which considers the autonomous island part of its territory and has vowed to take it by force if necessary.
China is North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, and Pyongyang also criticized Ms Pelosi over the visit.
“Pelosi, the worst destroyer of international peace and stability… has angered the Chinese people over her recent trip to Taiwan,” the State Department said in the statement.
“The United States will have to pay a heavy price for all the sources of trouble it has created wherever it goes.”
The rebuke from North Korea comes about a week after Kim Jong Un said his country is “ready to mobilize” its nuclear deterrent in any future military conflict with the United States and Seoul.
North Korea has conducted a record-breaking series of weapons tests so far this year, including the launch of a full-range ICBM for the first time since 2017.
Officials in Washington and Seoul have repeatedly warned that North Korea is preparing to conduct what will be its seventh nuclear test – a move the US has warned would spark a “rapid and forceful” response.