It’s been quite an eventful week in U.S.-North Korean relations. The U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are in Asia, meeting with key allies, including their counterparts in South Korea and Japan, and North Korea is very much on the agenda for those talks, which are taking place in conjunction with joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea. U.S. intelligence, CNN reported this week, believes North Korea may be preparing to launch a weapons test.
Meanwhile, Kim Yo-Jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, issued a statement this week warning the Biden Administration against “trying hard to give off [gun] powder smell in our land,” and “if it [the U.S.] wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
The cycle continued Wednesday, with the release of a propaganda poster in North Korean state media.
According to the Yonhap news service, the propaganda media outlet Uriminzokkiri published the poster on its website. As described by Yonhap, “a hammer with ‘self-determination’ inscribed on it crushes a chain into pieces. With the shattered chain comes such words as ‘alliance first’ and ‘policy of dependence on foreign powers’ scattered around.”
Also included on the poster is the phrase “reject rule and intervention by foreign powers and safeguard our dignity and autonomy.”
Uriminzokkiri publishes an English language edition; the top story at present has a headline that is translated as “Let’s Powerfully Propel Construction of Our Own-style Socialism by Enhancing Roles of City and County Party Organizations’ First Short Course for Chief Secretaries of City and County Party Committees Closes with Fourth-day sitting General Secretary of WPK Kim Jong Un Makes Closing Address.”
Back in 2017, the North Korean regime used Uriminzokkiri to lay out its story of an alleged assassination attempt of Kim Jong-un.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said earlier this week in Japan that the United States remains committed to “complete denuclearization of North Korea,” as well as of strengthening alliances in Asia.
“We’re looking at whether various additional pressure measures could be effective, whether there are diplomatic paths that make sense, all of that is under review,” Blinken added.
“The Kim Jong Un regime has achieved alarming success in its quest to demonstrate the capability to threaten the U.S. homeland with nuclear-armed ICBMs, believing such weapons are necessary to deter U.S. military action and ensure his regime’s survival,” Gen. Glen Van Herck, head of U.S. Northern Command, told CNN earlier this week.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. Image: Reuters.