North Korea urged so-called hardliners in the U.S. and South Korea not to “spoil the atmosphere” as diplomatic ties strengthen, the country’s state-run media said Wednesday.
Pyongyang called on Washington and Seoul for patience, saying its ties with the two counties were only at the first stage, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
“We do like to remind that it is time for all to approach everything with prudence and with self-control and patience,” a statement from the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) read.
North Korea criticized current and former officials and experts in the U.S. and Japan, along with conservatives in South Korea, for suggesting Pyongyang has been pushed into a corner by increasingly tough sanctions.
“We do like to remind that it is time for all to approach everything with prudence and with self-control and patience."
"The great change in the North-South relations is not an accidental one but a noble fruition made thanks to the DPRK's proactive measure, warm compatriotism and will for defending peace," state media said. "Such an event as today could be possible as the DPRK's dignity has remarkably risen and it has strong might."
North Korea’s defense of its diplomatic outreach to the West is the first of any kind since President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to meet with Dictator Kim Jong Un by May.
South Korea was key in brokering the trilateral meeting among Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington. Moon said Wednesday that the North Korean crisis must be resolved completely through the two upcoming summits.
Moon's presidential office also proposed talks with North Korea next week to determine the exact timing and agendas for the inter-Korean summit.
North Korean state media denied claims that Pyongyang made an about-face with no concessions from Washington because of Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy had pushed it into a corner.
“The economy of the DPRK is rising," state media said, adding that advances in science and technology around the country are "promising the bright future for the improvement of the people's living standard."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.