North Korea has slammed the United States for lifting its "missile guidelines" on South Korea, calling it a stark reminder of Washington's "hostile" policy toward the regime and what it called "shameful double-dealing."
It marks the regime's first response to the pledge by the leaders of Seoul and Washington to use diplomacy to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North.
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"The North likely wanted to tone down the criticism by releasing it as an article rather than in an official capacity, leaving the potential for diplomacy going forward."
The article was published under an individual's name in the North's state-run media on Monday, and it said Pyeongyang would face Washington on the basis of an "eye for an eye."
The backlash comes after the leaders of South Korea and the U.S. terminated the missile guidelines during their first summit earlier this month.
Before that, the allies had increased the range and weight of missiles that the South Korean military can develop in response to the North's missile threats.
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"This criticism is toned down, so it seems that while the North is ready for a tug of war externally, it will also prepare for talks with the U.S. behind the scenes."
Also, observers suggest that the North's less-than-swift reaction, coming more than a week after the Moon-Biden summit, could mean that the regime is choosing a more careful approach to Pyeongyang-Washington relations.
They also say that the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills scheduled for August could be a hurdle to a resumption of dialogue.
While these regular exercises could be scaled down like they were last time due to the pandemic, but still, experts say the North will still object to the drills.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.