A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva. File photo/ Reuters
North Korea lashed back at the United States for taking issue with its human rights record on Saturday, saying Washington’s “verbal abuse” would only aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, state news agency KCNA reported.
The KCNA statement, attributed to a foreign ministry spokesperson, warned that if the United States tried to take issue with the North’s system of government by citing human rights problems, it would “pay dearly.”
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s “long-standing and ongoing” violations of human rights in an annual resolution sponsored by dozens of countries including the United States that Pyongyang’s UN envoy rejected.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry statement is its first since US special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, publicly urged Pyongyang on Monday to return to talks. There has been no direct response from North Korea to Biegun’s entreaty.
North Korea has conducted a series of weapons tests in recent weeks and some experts say the reclusive state may be preparing for an intercontinental ballistic missile test that could put it back on a path of confrontation with the United States.
North Korea has repeatedly called for the United States to drop its “hostile policy” before more talks, as its self-imposed year-end deadline for denuclearisation negotiations approaches.
Kim said the latest missile test was “an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now underway by the US and South Korean authorities,” according to KCNA.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin are travelling in Asia this week for foreign policy and security talks with allies in Japan and South Korea, among other stops.
The missiles, launched from near the coastal city of Wonsan, flew about 430 km (267 miles) out over the sea, reaching an altitude of 50 km (30 miles), before splashing down,
Sheikh Mohamed was received by Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, at Hamad International Airport.
Vladimir Putin has fallen down the stairs at his official residence and soiled himself while continuing to suffer from cancer, a Telegram channel which claims links to his bodyguards has suggested, Daily Mail reported.
A Jordanian policewoman saved a young man from committing suicide from a bridge in the capital Amman. The policewoman appeared begging him to abandon the idea of ending his life, according to a video circulating on social media.
A man contacted another via the “Snapchat” application to buy a valuable watch from him, and after agreeing on the price, the first transferred to the watch owner Dhs80,000, while the latter did not deliver the watch and delayed returning its price.