Kim Song, chief of North Korea's mission to the United Nations, is seen addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, in this image captured from the website of the United Nations. (United Nations Website)
WASHINGTON -- The United States must permanently stop its joint military exercises with South Korea and the deployment of its strategic weapons to the South if it wishes to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's UN ambassador said Monday.
Kim Song, the chief of North Korea's mission to the United Nations, also said a good relationship may be formed between the North and the US if and when Washington gives up its hostility toward his country.
"If the US wants to see the Korean War, the most prolonged and long-lasting war in the world, come to an end, and if it is really desirous of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, it should take the first step toward giving up its hostile policy against the DPRK by stopping permanently the joint military exercises and the deployment of all kinds of strategic weapons," Kim said in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.
"I am convinced that a good prospect will be opened for the US-DPRK relations and inter-Korean relations if the US refrains from threatening the DPRK and gives up its hostility towards it," he added. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.
The renewed accusation of US hostility toward the North comes about a week after South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed adopting a declaration to formally end the Korean War, which ended only with an armistice, technically leaving the two Koreas at war to date.
Pyongyang earlier said the US must first give up its hostility toward the North before the countries can consider declaring the war's end.
Washington has denied having any hostile intent against the North.
Kim argued the US-South Korea joint military exercises demonstrate the military threat his country faces every day.
"The US hostile policy against the DPRK finds its clearest expression in it's military threats against us," he said. "Not a single foreign troop, not a single foreign military base exists in the territory of the DPRK. But in South Korea, almost 30,000 US troops are stationed at numerous military bases, maintaining a war posture to take military action against the DPRK at any moment."
"The US hostile policy towards the DPRK is not at all abstract. It is, in itself, military threats and hostile acts we are facing from the US every day," added the North Korean diplomat.
He argued former US administrations have claimed both verbally and in written documents to have no hostile intent against the North but their claims have only turned out to be "flowery words to cover up the hostile policy."
"The US has now two options. One is to contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the world by withdrawing an anachronistic or hostile policy towards the DPRK in a bold and complete manner," said Kim.
"If the US shows its bold decision to give up its hostile policy, we are also prepared to respond willingly at any time," he added.
The North Korean diplomat also argued the US did not become hostile against the North because of its nuclear weapons but that the North developed nuclear capabilities because of US hostility.
"When it comes to the nuclear issue, it is not the DPRK's position of nukes that the US became hostile towards us. On the contrary, we have traversed an inevitable course of history as the US, the biggest nuclear power in the world, has been posing nuclear threats antagonizing the DPRK for more than 70 years." (Yonhap)