US has no hostile intent, but North Korea continues to provoke: State Department.

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) — The United States has no hostile intent toward North Korea, a State Department spokesperson said Monday, adding that North Korea, on the other hand, continues to engage in Provocation. .

The remarks come after the North cited what it claims is US hostility to the country, while warning that US provocations against the North will be seen as a “declaration of war”.

“It is the DPRK that has repeatedly, at an unprecedented rate, engaged in provocations, including multiple tests of ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), other ballistic missiles and other provocative activities who posed a threat to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and, in some ways, even far beyond,” State Department Press Secretary Ned Price said during a briefing. daily press.

“Even though we have underscored the threat that we and our partners in the region face from these dangerous programs and provocations, we have made it clear that we have no hostile intentions towards the DPRK,” he said. -he adds.

DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of the North.

State Department Press Secretary Ned Price is seen answering a question during a daily press briefing at the department in Washington on February 27, 2023 in this captured image. (Yonhap)

North Korea staged 69 ballistic missile tests in 2022, marking a new record for ballistic missiles fired in a single year.

Pyongyang periodically accuses the United States of provoking North Korea by holding joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan, which it says are rehearsals aimed at invading the North.

The State Department spokesperson noted that the United States had offered to speak directly with the North for more than a year.

“We have made clear our willingness to engage in direct talks with the DPRK without preconditions to advance the prospects for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Price said.

He added that North Korea, “on the other hand, has been provocative after provocation and has repeatedly rejected our diplomatic overtures.”

Price also reaffirmed the United States’ continued commitment to finding diplomatic solutions, saying his “diplomatic overtures remain.”

“We would like the opportunity to discuss these issues face to face if that is the preference, but we believe in diplomacy, even though we have made it clear, in word and deed, that we will honor security commitments. that we have towards our treaty allies – Japan, the Republic of Korea, our allies around the world,” he said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

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