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US double standard approach ‘a stumbling block’ to easing Korean Peninsula tensions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Viewers watch a TV news program in Seoul, South Korea, on September 13, 2021, showing a handout image from the North Korean government of the North’s long-range cruise missiles tests. (Photo by AP)

North Korea has accused the United States of applying double-standards in its approaches to the two Koreas' military activities, saying Washington’s hostile policy towards Pyongyang is the exact reason behind the prolonged deadlock in denuclearization talks.

South Korea successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) for the first time, just hours after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday.  

Washington condemned the North Korean test as a threat to its neighbors, saying it was "in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.” However, it did not mention anything about Seoul’s test.

On Friday, the North’s official KCNA media outlet condemned the US for having a "double-dealing attitude" by "keeping mum” about South Korea's missile launch, and held Washington’s duplicity responsible for stalled nuclear talks.

The KCNA commentary, attributed to international affairs analyst Kim Myong-chol, said Washington's "double-dealing act" is a "stumbling block in the way of solving the Korean peninsula issue and a catalyst straining the tension."

It further noted that the United States had "stirred up a terrific furore" by presenting North Korea's actions as "threats to international peace and security".

The article also pointed out that Washington is to blame for the stand-off preventing the restart of talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for sanctions relief.

"Even though contacts and dialogues are undertaken now, it is certain that the US would raise the double-dealing yardstick by which it would call our acts for self-defense 'threats' to the world peace and its allies," Kim said.

He also stressed that "the word denuclearization can never be put on the table" unless Washington drops its "hostile policy" against the North.

Denuclearization talks have been stalled since 2019, with North Korea demanding sanctions relief. Former US President Donald Trump had held three meetings with the North Korean leader, and exchanged a series of letters with him, too, but bilateral diplomacy did not last long as Trump refused to remove sanctions in exchange for several steps by the North toward demilitarization.

Earlier this week, Sung Kim, the US special envoy for North Korea said that Washington is open to diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Friday’s development comes as the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has also lashed out at South Korea for criticizing the North's "routine defensive measures" while developing its own missiles.

South Korea, which has been advancing its military power including its missile capabilities, has now become the world's seventh country to have developed SLBM technology.

The North has also unveiled a series of new SLBMs in recent years.

South and North Korea cite one another's military developments as the reason for boosting their capabilities

The US and South Korea depict the North's missile and nuclear programs as a threat, while Pyongyang says the substantial US military presence on the peninsula threatens its national security.

The North has also been strongly critical of the joint Washington-Seoul spring and summer drills, saying the hostile exercises are a rehearsal for an invasion.

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