TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — North Korea has waded into the war of words on either side of the Taiwan Strait by criticizing the United States for being a threat and pressuring China.
The U.S. was being "reckless" in backing Taiwan by sending warships through the strait and selling the country arms, according to North Korea Vice Foreign Minister Park Myong-ho. His comments were reported by state media and multiple agencies worldwide.
Furthermore, the U.S. was accused of "indiscreet meddling" in what it termed ally China's "internal affairs." The level of support for Taiwan was exceeding the agreed policy of "strategic ambiguity," Park said,
“It is a well-known fact that the U.S. troops and its military bases in (South Korea) are in use to put pressure on China and that the huge forces of the U.S. and its satellite states, which are being concentrated near Taiwan, can be committed to a military operation targeting (North Korea) at any time,” Park said.
The sharp words follow on from U.S. President Joe Biden's vow on Thursday (Oct. 21) to defend Taiwan in the case of an attack from China. Previous to this, North Korea criticized the U.S. for agreeing to sell Australia nuclear-powered submarines.
Picture at Korean War Museum, Dandong, China. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)
Meanwhile, in New York on Friday (Oct. 23) an independent investigator working for the United Nations said North Korea's COVID-19 epidemic prevention efforts were having a "dramatic impact on the human rights of the people inside the country.”
Tomas Ojea Quintana told the General Assembly’s human rights committee, “The draconian steps the government of the DPRK has taken to prevent COVID-19 from entering reportedly include a policy of shooting individuals who attempt to enter or leave the country.”
He also warned of food shortages because of U.S.-led sanctions against North Korea and because of the communist country cutting itself off from the rest of the world to prevent COVID.
Crossing from China to North Korea in Dandong. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)