Biden to veer from Trump, Obama policies in taking on North Korea

North Korea says it won't take part in Tokyo Olympic Games

Instead, Biden's policy "calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK, and to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, and deployed forces", Psaki continued, using the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"What I really think is extremely alarming is a retreat by the South Korean government from its longstanding commitment to human rights vis-à-vis North Korea and China, ostensibly in the cause of fostering better relations or achieving nuclear nonproliferation", Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said during the hearing.

The White House did not say whether it will offer concessions to get North Korea to return to talks.

North Korea lashed out at the United States and its allies in South Korea on Sunday in a series of statements saying recent comments from Washington are proof of a hostile policy that requires a corresponding response from Pyongyang.

North Korea branded USA diplomacy "spurious" on Sunday, dismissing the idea of talks with Washington a day after the Biden administration said it was open to diplomatic negotiations on denuclearization, state media reported. "Now that the keynote of the USA new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the USA will find itself in a very grave situation".

"Our policy will not focus on achieving a grand bargain, nor will it rely on strategic patience", Psaki said.

The law has raised concerns over freedom of speech, with the U.S. - a treaty ally of the South - describing it as a "significant human rights issue" in an annual report in March.

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A handout photo provided by Dong-A Ilbo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the South and North Korea on June 30, 2019 in Panmunjom, South Korea.

North Korea, so far, has refused diplomatic entreaties from the Biden administration. But that diplomacy remains stalled for about two years over differences in how much sanctions relief North Korea could win in return for limited denuclearization steps. The following year, Trump became the first sitting USA president to step foot in North Korea. "If, on the other hand, Kim shuns diplomacy and opts for provocative tests, Washington will likely expand sanctions enforcement and military exercises with allies".

A separate foreign ministry statement said previous comments criticising North Korea's human rights situation insulted the dignity of leader Kim Jong-un and showed the U.S. is "girding itself up for an all-out showdown".

Last year, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, after Kim Yo Jong led a campaign of criticism over the leaflet launches.

A defectors' group in South Korea flew 500 thousand leaflets criticizing Kim Jong Un toward the North via balloons in late April.

Park Sang-hak, an activist promoting human rights in North Koreans and a former defector, said today that he had distributed leaflets to North Korea.

On May 21 Biden is due to have his first meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has pushed for more engagement with North Korea.

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