U.S. has no hostile intent but N. Korea continues to provoke: state dept.

February 27, 2023

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 make provocations.

The remarks come after the North cited what it claimed to be U.S. hostility toward the country, while warning that U.S. provocations against the North will be considered a “declaration of war.”

“It is the DPRK that time and again at an unprecedented rate has engaged in provocations, including multiple tests of ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) systems, other ballistic missiles and other provocative activities that have posed a threat to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and, in some ways, even well beyond,” State Department Press Secretary Ned Price told a daily press briefing.

“Even as we have pointed out the threat that we and our partners in the region face from these programs and these dangerous provocations, we have made very clear that we have no hostile intent towards the DPRK,” he added.

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

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

Pyongyang periodically accuses the U.S. of provoking North Korea by staging joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan, which it claims are rehearsals aimed at invading the North.

The state department spokesperson noted that the U.S. has offered to talk directly with the North for over a year.

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

He added North Korea, “on the other hand, has only engaged in provocation after provocation and has rejected our diplomatic overtures time and again.”

Price also reaffirmed the U.S.’ continued commitment to finding diplomatic solutions, saying its “diplomatic overtures remain.”

“We would like an opportunity to discuss these issues face to face if that’s the preference, but we believe in diplomacy, even as we have made clear, in word and in deed, that we are going to stand by the security commitments that we have to our treaty allies — to Japan, to the Republic of Korea, to our allies around the world,” he said, referring to South Korea by its official name.