A top North Korean official warned the U.S. "will find itself in a very grave situation" after President Biden called the country a security threat during his first policy speech to Congress last week.
Why it matters: The threat underlines the challenges Biden faces as he seeks to break away from the failure of predecessors to overcome differences with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's regime over denuclearization and sanctions, which have crippled the isolated nation.
Context: In his speech to Congress last Wednesday, Biden said the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran were "a serious threat to America’s security and world security," which he vowed to address through "diplomacy and stern deterrence."
What they're saying: Kwon Jong Gun, a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, said in a statement published by the state-run KCNA,that Biden's speech was a "big blunder" and his comments "intolerable."
- "His statement clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward" the North Korea as it had been done by the U.S. for over half a century," Kwon said.
- Kwon did not specify what steps North Korea was considering.
The big picture: Kwon's comments come a day after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration had completed its review of U.S. policy toward North Korea.
- Psaki suggested the Biden administration would aim for a middle ground between former President Trump’s "grand bargain" and former President Obama’s "strategic patience" approach.
- The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.