North Korea warns US to stay out of its affairs to ensure ‘smooth running’ of presidential election
North Korea warned the U.S. to stay out of its affairs and threatened to disrupt the presidential election in November if the Trump administration keeps up its criticism of Pyongyang.
Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, hammered Washington over remarks regarding North Korea’s decision to cut communications with South Korea, calling the U.S. criticism “disgusting.”
“No one is entitled to say this or that about the inter-Korean relations as they pertain to the internal affairs of the Korean nation from A to Z,” Kwon said in a statement carried by state media outlet KCNA. “Disgusting is the double-dealing attitudes of the U.S. that feels uneasy over any sign of the improvement in the inter-Korean relations and pretends to get very anxious if the relations get worse.”
“The U.S. had better hold its tongue and mind its internal affairs first if it doesn’t want to experience a horrible thing,” he added. “It would be good not only in the U.S. interests but also for the smooth running of presidential election just at hand.”
Kwon did not clarify any specific tactics it could use to disrupt the election.
He was responding to a statement from the State Department, which noted its disappointment over Pyongyang’s decision to cut off communication with South Korea over leaflets activists sent over the border bashing North Korean leader President Kim Jong Un.
North Korea, which is notoriously sensitive to criticism of the strongman, has long labeled the leaflets a propaganda tactic. In an effort to ease tensions, Seoul announced Wednesday it would press charges against two groups for floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.
North Korea’s threat comes just before the two-year anniversary of the historic summit between Kim and President Trump in Singapore, the first meeting between a leader of North Korea and the sitting U.S. president.
Denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington collapsed after last year’s failed summit in Vietnam, where negotiations broke down over disagreements on sanctions relief for North Korea. Pyongyang has lashed out with a rash of weapons tests in recent months and criticism of Washington’s scrutiny over China, its chief ally and economic booster.