North Korea warned President-elect Donald Trump that his administration was facing a "nuclear state" and that President Barack Obama's foreign policy had failed to influence Pyongyang, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.
"If there is anything the Obama administration has done... it has put the security of the U.S. mainland in the greatest danger," said an editorial by state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun. "It has burdened the new administration with the difficulty of facing the Juche nuclear state," it said, referring to the North Korean state ideology often translated as "self-reliance."
The article did not mention Trump by name, but declared "it was high time" that the U.S. took action to resolve tensions between the Koreas. The editorial maintained that North Korea would never give up its nuclear weapons and referred to comments made last month by U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who called efforts to denuclearize North Korea a "lost cause." The publication declared Washington's plans "an outdated illusion."
During a phone call Thursday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Trump pledged his support in defending Seoul against provocations from Pyongyang. The call came one day after panic broke out in South Korea over Election Day results in the U.S. Financial markets underwent chaos over Trump's surprise victory and Seoul scrambled together an emergency meeting of its national security council to determine how the country would deal with Trump's presidency.
Trump has not yet outlined a foreign policy plan in Asia, however, he expressed in June his support for holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also demanded that South Korea and Japan spend more money on their security alliance with the U.S. or else he would withdraw troops from the region, a move that North Korea applauded.
By the end of Trump's term in 2020, experts have predicted that North Korea will have gathered enough nuclear material to create about 100 nuclear weapons and may have developed the technology to send a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile to U.S. mainland soil.