Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) — The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

N. Korea says U.S. ‘double standard’ to blame for deadlock in talks

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) — The U.S. “double standard” toward North Korea is to blame for the prolonged deadlock in talks between the two countries, a North Korean international affairs commentator claimed Friday.

The commentator, Kim Yong-chol, made the case in an article carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, saying the U.S. denounced the North’s missile test this week as a provocation while remaining silent about a similar missile test by South Korea.

“The reason for the continuing deadlock in dialogue between the DPRK and the U.S. lies with the U.S. double standard,” Kim said, using the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

N.K. says U.S-Australia submarine deal ‘extremely undesirable,’ vows to take counteraction

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — North Korea on Monday denounced a United States decision to help build nuclear-powered submarines for Australia as an “extremely undesirable and dangerous” move that can trigger off a nuclear arms race.

The North will also take “corresponding counteraction in case it has even a little adverse impact on the security” of the country, the foreign news section chief of the North’s foreign ministry told the official Korean Central News Agency.

The United States on Wednesday announced the launch of a new trilateral security partnership with Australia and Britain, and said the countries will also work to equip Australia with “conventionally armed” nuclear submarines.

N. Korea discounts S. Korea’s new SLBM as ‘clumsy product’ in ‘elementary’ development stage

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — North Korea on Monday questioned whether South Korea’s newly unveiled submarine-launched ballistic missile is a real SLBM, claiming even if it is, the “clumsy product” is just in the elementary development stage and cannot serve as an effective means of attack.

The chief of the North’s Academy of National Defense made the claim in an article carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), days after South Korea unveiled its first homegrown SLBM by announcing the successful test-launch from the 3,000-ton-class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine.

“The disclosed pictures show that the weapon has the structure and shape of a typical ground-to-ground tactical ballistic missile. Though the photos could have deliberately been retouched for secrecy, the missile in the picture looked somewhat like a poor weapon without all its shape and far from an underwater weapon,” agency chief Jang Chang-ha said. “What was shown in the pictures was clearly not SLBM.”

N. Korea calls U.N. Security Council’s meeting on Afghanistan ‘ridiculing’ international community

SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) — North Korea denounced Wednesday a recent meeting of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) on Afghanistan as “ridiculing” the international community, accusing the United States and western countries of their double standards about addressing “human rights crimes.”

The North’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website that the U.S. and the West “talk of respecting human rights when they neglect their own acts of human rights crimes and are again ridiculing the international community.”

“In general, it is customary for those who commit a crime to remain silent for fear of their guilt and identity being revealed. But such an emotional logic does not work for them,” it said.

N.K. paper calls for speedy harvests to minimize loss from natural disasters

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s official newspaper on Thursday called for all-out efforts to speed up harvests of crops to minimize loss from natural disasters and maximize grain production amid worries about chronic food shortages.

“All means at our disposable should be mobilized for harvesting and threshing grains in the autumn,” the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North’s ruling party, said. “All sectors, units and party organizations should also ramp up efforts to support the farming community.”

“Carrying out autumn harvests with our whole mind is not just work to resolve food problems for our people but also a powerful political business,” the paper said.

N. Korea rejects Moon’s proposal of end-of-war declaration as ‘premature’

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) — North Korea on Friday rejected President Moon Jae-in’s proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 war as “something premature,” arguing that such a declaration would be meaningless as long as the U.S. “hostile policy” remains unchanged.

Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae-song made the rejection in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, saying that an end-of-war declaration has “no legal binding force” and will “become a mere scrap of paper in a moment upon changes in situations.”

“There is no vouch that the mere declaration of the termination of the war would lead to the withdrawal of the hostile policy toward the DPRK, under the present situation on the peninsula inching close to a touch-and-go situation,” he said.

Kim Yo-jong calls Moon’s war-end declaration offer ‘admirable idea,’ demands end to hostile policy

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) — The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Friday that President Moon Jae-in’s proposal to declare a formal end to the Korean War is an “admirable idea” and Pyongyang is willing to discuss improving inter-Korean relations if Seoul ceases to be hostile toward it.

Kim Yo-jong stressed, however, that the right conditions should be created first before an end-of-war declaration is adopted, such as the removal of what she called “inveterate hostile policy and unequal double standards” toward the North.

Her statement came just hours after a vice foreign minister of the North dismissed Moon’s end-of-war declaration proposal as “something premature,” saying such a declaration would end up as nothing more than a scrap of paper as long as the U.S. hostile policy remains unchanged.