Pyongyang: North Korea’s propaganda newspaper on Thursday accused the United States of meddling in the matters of inter-Korean cooperation, while expressing discontent over the limited progress made in the economic projects amid a multitude of international sanctions imposed on the communist nation.
While referring to the recent joint groundbreaking ceremony between the two Korean countries for a cross-border railway and road project, the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s main newspaper, stated that the failure of the two nations to “actually break the ground was a tragedy coerced by external forces,” South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
Last week, North and South Korea held the ceremony to modernise and eventually re-connect rail links and roads across the inter-Korean border, which was touted to be a symbolic launch.
“It would be hard to find a case on earth where a groundbreaking ceremony is held and at the same time it is declared that it does not mean actually breaking the ground,” the newspaper said.
Squarely blaming US’ “hostile policy” towards North Korea for such restrictions, the paper urged South Korea to continue its work of maintaining good inter-Korean relations and move forward irrespective of the current ties between North Korea and the US.
“Important thing is that it is time for the US to change its perspective and attitude in dealing with North-South Korean relations,” the paper said.
Warning the US to mend its ways, the newspaper suggested that Washington should have a different approach to inter-Korean ties “from the perspective of imposing pressure.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s speech, threatened that his country would have to “seek a new way” if the US “does not make good on its promises” with regard to denuclearisation and continues with sanctions. He also called for the complete end to joint military exercises between South Korea and the US and put forth that foreign military strategic assets in the Korean peninsula are a “source” of tension.
Even though engagements between Washington and Pyongyang reached new heights in 2018 with the unprecedented first meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim, the last few months of the year saw a stalemate in relations.
North Korea, on the one hand, has asked for corresponding measures by the US for its efforts towards denuclearisation. The US, on the other hand, has pushed for complete denuclearisation before a relaxation in sanctions.