Kim In Ryong, the deputy U.N. envoy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK, said that the United States must end its “hostile policy” toward their nation in order for dialogue to occur, Reuters reported Friday.
“The rolling back of the hostile policy toward DPRK is the prerequisite for solving all the problems in the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean Peninsula is to put a definite end to the U.S. hostile policy toward DPRK, the root cause of all problems.”
Earlier on Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that military action against the DPRK would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.” In what were some of the first indications that the administration of President Donald Trump wishes to avoid a military confrontation with the DPRK, Mattis continued to say that “our effort is to work with the U.N., work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation.”
"As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue,” Kim In Ryong said, “but what is important is not words, but actions.”
The U.S. currently has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, Reuters reported.
The U.S. also recently began construction of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, in South Korea, in a move that China saw as a threat to its own security.
The Trump administration has repeatedly called on China to “rein in” its neighbor, which has continued to develop its nuclear program, viewing it as necessary to deter aggression from the U.S.
China is the DPRK's most important economic and diplomatic partner, and has invited Pyongyang to participate in its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the Silk Road plan.
Following a recent successful missile test earlier in May that flew 430 miles off the coast of North Korea, the United Nations Security Council threatened to impose further sanctions on the country. The Security Council first imposed sanctions on the DPRK in 2006 following its five nuclear tests and two long-range rocket tests that year.