The North Korean state publication Meari denounced U.S. “tyranny” over inter-Korean relations in a column Monday, claiming that American “intervention in internal affairs” was actively hurting ties between North and South Korea.
The two Koreas have been officially at war for 70 years; China and the United States are also at war by proxy. The opposing sides of the Korean War signed an armistice agreement in 1953 – which stopped active hostilities – but no peace treaty exists.
The latest propaganda broadside against Washington comes on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly’s general debate, an open platform for world leaders to address their peers about whatever they want. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has never attended, but his foreign ministry or other diplomats typically use the occasion to condemn the United States for seeking an end to the communist regime’s illegal nuclear weapons development.
Meari – NK News, an online outlet that monitors North Korea, explained – is an online publication run by Pyongyang and targeting Koreans outside of the country, meaning its message is not meant to sway the average North Korean citizen. In an article titled “The Tyranny of Robbers Continues – American Involvement in Our Internal Affairs Has Led to a Violent Violation of National Dignity and Interests,” the publication complained that American negotiators insisted on discussing reunification of the Korean peninsula in the same talks as those on denuclearization.
North Korea does not recognize South Korea as a sovereign nation; instead, it views the south as a rogue province of a full communist Korea. Attempting to build diplomatic ties between North and South, then, is tantamount to meddling in “domestic” affairs, Meari argued.
Discussing reunification and denuclearization together “is no less than declaring that North-South relations cannot move forward without their ‘approval,’ the column says of the United States.
“What is it that the US is trying to get from the internal problems of our people?” the outlet asked, before accusing America of having a “bloody history of constant invasion and territorial expansion.” It then went on to attack America as a nation too young to have a say in the affairs of Korea, “which has a long history and culture of five millennia.”
“The U.S., which was only born two hundreds and scores of years ago, dares to argue against the country with a history of five thousand years … And it only becomes an intolerable insult to our nation,” Meari continued.
“No one ever asked the United States to help with the reconciliation, unity, peace, and unification of our people,” the publication insisted.
American and South Korean officials scheduled to meet to discuss North Korea and their own bilateral relationship in New York on Monday, where leftist South Korean President Moon Jae-in landed Sunday to attend this week’s U.N. General Assembly general debate. Moon and Trump are reportedly to discuss how to come to concrete agreements on ending the nuclear program in the north.
JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, described South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha as positive and telling reporters that the Trump administration would take into consideration dictator Kim’s demands for “security,” meaning the continued existence of his corrupt communist regime and the indefinite continuation of gross human rights abuses against the North Korean people.
“Since the Hanoi summit, the North has increasingly made demands for security guarantees through various talks,” Kang reportedly added. “So we are cooperating with the United States to analyze what the North’s vision for a security guarantee is and what underlying intentions are carried in the North’s public statements.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency noted that Kang told reporters Sunday that Seoul is prioritizing the creation of a concrete plan for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.
“I think the biggest task in the working-level negotiations is to create a road map,” Kang said, a particularly difficult task given that neither side agrees on how to define denuclearization.
“We do not have a specific and agreed definition of what final, fully verified denuclearisation or comprehensive, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation – whatever your preferred term of art – is,” Stephen Biegun, the U.S. State Department special representative on North Korea, admitted early this year. There is no evidence either side has made any public that the two have managed to bridge the gap.
The United States defines denuclearization as an end to North Korea’s illegal nuclear program. North Korea defines denuclearization as the full dismantlement of the American military presence in Korea, arguing that the peninsula is “nuclearized” because the U.S., a nuclear power, is present there.
“They need to restore trust in each other. It is hard to build trust while maintaining a hostile policy,” South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said of the two sides on Monday, admitting it would “not be all that easy” to make progress in negotiations.
Some reports indicate that North Korean officials at the U.N. General Assembly will engage in dialogue with their American counterparts. If so, that in itself would be a victory for Washington – Kim’s regime had insisted this year that it would have no communication with Washington until President Donald Trump fired “diehard toxin” Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state.