SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the “worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” accusing her of inciting anti-North Korea during a trip to Asia earlier this week. sentiment and anger China.
Pelosi traveled to South Korea after a visit to Taiwan, prompting China to conduct military exercises including missile strike training in waters off the self-governing island. China sees Taiwan as part of its own territory and will annex it by force if necessary.
While in South Korea, Pelosi visited the border area with North Korea and discussed North Korea’s nuclear program with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo. According to Kim Jong Un, the two countries agreed to support the two governments’ push for denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula on the basis of strong deterrence and diplomacy against North Korea.
On Saturday, Cho Yong-sam, director of the press and information affairs department at North Korea’s foreign ministry, lashed out at Pelosi over her visit to the border and discussions of anti-DPRK deterrence.
“Pelosi was well-deservedly criticized by China for her visit to Taiwan for undermining regional peace and stability, and her stay in South Korea stirred up an atmosphere of confrontation with North Korea,” Joe said in a statement issued by state media.
Joe called Pelosi the “worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” arguing that Pelosi’s actions in South Korea clearly demonstrated the Biden administration’s hostile policy toward North Korea.
“It would be a fatal mistake if she thought she could get away with impunity on the Korean peninsula,” Joe warned. “America will have to pay dearly for all the trouble she causes wherever she goes.”
Pelosi visited the Joint Security Zone on the North Korean border on Thursday, making her the most high-profile American since then-President Donald Trump visited North Korea in 2019 to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The area lies within the world’s heavily fortified border and is jointly controlled by the U.S.-led United Nations Command and North Korea. The U.S. president and other senior officials have previously traveled to the region to reaffirm their commitment to South Korea’s security in the face of North Korea’s hostilities.
During her JSA visit, Pelosi did not make any strong public statements about North Korea. She tweeted several photos from the JSA and wrote: “We express our congress and our nation’s gratitude for the patriotic service of our service members, sentinels of democracy on the Korean peninsula.”
In a separate statement, Pelosi said she and South Korean parliamentary speaker Kim Jong Un reaffirmed “our commitment to the U.S.-South Korea alliance to promote security, strengthen our supply chains, and increase trade and investment that benefits both countries.”
Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s drastic missile test earlier this year. North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear weapons test in five years, U.S. and South Korean officials said.
North Korea has said it will not return to denuclearization talks unless the U.S. abandons its hostile policy, focusing instead on expanding its nuclear program, in an apparent reference to U.S.-led international sanctions against North Korea and regular military exercises with South Korea .
North Korea issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the United States and supporting its main ally and top donor China, after Pelosi visited Taiwan and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island.
Pelosi is the first speaker of the House of Representatives to visit Taiwan in 25 years.