N Korea warns US to ‘avoid causing a stink’ if it wants peace


Islamabad – March 16 (Online): Kim Jo Yong, the powerful sister of the North Korean leader, has threatened to scrap inter-Korean co-operation as she condemned ongoing military drills between South Korea and the United States, and cautioned the US against “causing a stink” if it wants peace, state media reported on Tuesday.
The statement comes a day before America’s top diplomat and defence chief, who are currently in Japan, are scheduled to arrive in Seoul.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” Kim said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA. “If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are expected to focus on foreign and security policy during their time in northeast Asia.
The timing of Kim’s comments – the first direct address to the new US administration since Biden took office in January – seems designed to ensure that North Korea will be at the top of Blinken and Austin’s agenda when they land in Seoul, said Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea expert at King’s College London – reported international news agency BBC.
“Until now, the discussion was focusing on The Quad, dealing with China and the North Korea policy review,” he said. “Now Kim’s statement will be central to discussions.”
North Korea has so far rebuffed US calls for dialogue, the White House said on Monday, as the chill in relations that began under previous President Donald Trump extended into Joe Biden’s presidency.