North Korea on Saturday called US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the “worst destroyer of international peace and stability”, accusing her of inciting anti-North Korea sentiment and provoking China during her Asian tour earlier this week.
Pelosi visited South Korea after visiting Taiwan, which prompted China to launch military exercises, including missile strike training in waters near the self-ruled island. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory that will be annexed by force if necessary.
While in South Korea, Pelosi visited a border with North Korea and discussed the North’s nuclear program with Kim Jin-Pyo, the Speaker of the South Korean National Assembly. According to Kim, the two agreed to support their governments’ pressure for denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula based on robust and expanded resistance against the North and diplomacy.
On Saturday, Joe Yong Sam, director general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s Department of Press and Information Affairs, slammed Pelosi for going to the border and discussing North Korean resistance.
“Pelosi, who had come under a volley of due criticism from China for destroying regional peace and stability by visiting Taiwan, stirred up the atmosphere of confrontation” with North Korea during her stay in South Korea, Jo said in a statement carried by state media.
Calling Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” Jo argued that Pelosi’s behaviour in South Korea showed the Biden administration’s hostile policy toward North Korea.
“It would be a fatal mistake for her to think that she can go scot-free in the Korean Peninsula,” Jo warned. “The U.S. will have to pay dearly for all the sources of trouble spawned by her wherever she went.”
Pelosi’s visit to the Joint Security Area at the Korean border on Thursday made her the highest-profile American since then-President Donald Trump visited in 2019 for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Located inside the world’s most heavily fortified border, the American-led United Nations Command and North Korea jointly controlled the area. U.S. presidents and other top officials have previously travelled to the site to reaffirm their security commitment to South Korea during animosities with North Korea.
During her JSA visit, Pelosi made no strong public statements against North Korea. She uploaded several photos from the JSA on Twitter. She wrote: “We conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the Country for the patriotic service of our servicemembers, who stand as sentinels of Democracy on the Korean Peninsula.”
Pelosi said in a separate statement that she and Kim, the South Korean parliamentary speaker, reaffirmed “our commitment to the U.S.-Korea alliance to advance security, strengthen our supply chains, and increase trade and investments that are beneficial to both our nations.”
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high following North Korea’s torrid run of missile tests earlier this year. U.S. and South Korean officials said North Korea is ready to conduct its first nuclear weapons test in five years.
After Pelosi visited Taiwan and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island, North Korea issued a statement berating the U.S. and supporting China, its main ally and biggest aid benefactor.
Pelosi was the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years