N. Korea Slams End to U.S. Guidelines Limiting S. Korea Missile Range

SEOUL (Reuters) -
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles after the test firing of an unspecified missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

North Korea’s state media on Monday criticized the recent termination of a pact between the United States and South Korea that capped the development of South Korea’s ballistic missiles, calling it a sign of Washington’s “shameful double-dealing.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced the abolishment of the joint missile guidelines that had limited the country’s development of ballistic missiles to a range of 800 kilometers (500 miles) after his first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.

North Korea’s official KCNA news agency carried an article by Kim Myong Chol, who it described as an “international affairs critic,” accusing the United States of applying a double standard as it sought to ban Pyongyang from developing ballistic missiles.

The United States is “engrossed in confrontation despite its lip service to dialogue,” Kim said. “The termination step is a stark reminder of the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and its shameful double-dealing.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea’s official name.

North Korea’s target is the United States, not South Korea’s military, and it will counter the United States on “the principle of strength for strength,” Kim said.

Kim also criticized Moon for welcoming the termination of the guidelines, calling it “disgusting, indecent.”

“Now that the U.S. and the South Korean authorities made clear their ambition of aggression, they are left with no reasons whatsoever to fault the DPRK bolstering its capabilities for self-defense,” Kim added.