June 24 (UPI) — North Korea on Saturday criticized U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken ‘s recent visit to China, threatening to take “overwhelming and offensive” countermeasures should the United States ratchet up military pressure.
North Korean foreign affairs ministry official Kwon Jong Gun called Blinken a “low-class diplomat advocating power-based ‘diplomacy'” in a statement released Saturday, six days after Blinken visited Beijing and agreed with Chinese leaders to improve relations between the superpowers.
In a statement carried by official North Korean media, Kwon specifically criticized Blinken’s remarks during the trip that China was in a “unique” position to press Pyongyang to re-engage in stalled peace talks. He called those remarks “rubbish” and declared the North would take more offensive measures if the Beijing visit resulted in more pressure by Washington and its regional allies.
“We seriously warn that the scale and scope of the DPRK’s counteraction measures will be extended more overwhelmingly and offensively in case the escalation of the U.S. military action and provocation in the Korean peninsula and the region is spotted,” Kwon said.
Blinken’s trip to Beijing last week was headlined by an agreement to improve relations. The top U.S. diplomat urged Chinese leaders to use their leverage as North Korea’s main trading partner to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons.
“Unless the U.S. stops the act of violating our sovereignty and threatening us in disregard of our rights and interests and takes a clear action … to lift its heinous hostile policy toward [North Korea], there will be neither restraint nor adjustment in the latter’s exercise of its right to self defense,” Kwon warned.
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