March 30 (UPI) — South Korea is expressing regret after North Korean official Kim Yo Jong labeled President Moon Jae-in an “American parrot” following an expression of concern from Moon about North Korean missile launches.
A presidential Blue House official in Seoul met with local reporters on Tuesday to issue the response to Kim’s statement and suggested Pyongyang needs to do more on the diplomatic front, KBS reported.
“North Korea also should demonstrate a willingness to talk,” the official said.
Earlier Tuesday, Kim had used strong language to condemn Moon, who has met with her brother Kim Jong Un four times. Three out of those four meetings were held at the truce village of Panmunjom.
Kim Yo Jong said Moon’s remarks bore close resemblance to U.S. condemnations of North Korea and that he was “parroting” the rhetoric coming from the Biden administration.
Moon has reached the “height of impudence,” Kim Yo Jong said.
Her statement did not address other aspects of Moon’s speech, which he delivered on Friday on West Sea Defense Day, a day of remembrance for South Koreans who died after alleged North Korean attacks at sea.
The South Korean president had said last week the North and South must make efforts at dialogue.
“It is never desirable to add to the challenges of creating an atmosphere for dialogue,” Moon had said.
Kim Il-gi, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy, told KBS that North Korea could be exerting pressure on the United States with rhetoric, while exercising caution. Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test or launched an intercontinental ballistic missile since U.S. President Joe Biden assumed office.
U.S. analysis of recent satellite imagery showed signs of North Korean activity, however
Analysts Joseph Bermudez, Victor Cha and Dana Kim said on the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ site Beyond Parallel, that the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant remains operational and is “producing uranium concentrate.”
“Given the observed level of activity and North Korean statements concerning the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and barring any unforeseen developments, the plant will undoubtedly remain operational for the foreseeable future,” analysts said.