U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday U.S.-South Korea drills will no longer be suspended. Pyongyang did not mention Mattis, but criticized U.S. policy on Wednesday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- North Korea state media said Wednesday the United States' lack of "trust and respect" is creating hostility between the two countries.
The statement from the Minju Choson, a North Korean government newspaper, comes a day after U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the Pentagon has no plans to suspend future military exercises with South Korea.
On Wednesday, North Korea state media did not mention the Mattis statement, or a decision from U.S. President Donald Trump to cancel Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang.
"Without trust and respect, we cannot resolve hostilities between North Korea and the United States anytime soon," the Minju Choson said. "If the United States really desires improvements in bilateral relations, it should take the correct position and perspective of the other party."
North Korea has repeatedly called for an end-of-war declaration.
"If with an end-of-war declaration the military confrontation between North Korea and the United States ends and an atmosphere advantageous to the development of trust will be created, it would build anticipation for new progress on North Korea-U.S. relations," Pyongyang media said last week, before Trump's decision to cancel Pompeo's trip.
Minju Choson stated one of the main reasons Washington is not respecting Pyongyang, its dialogue partner, is because "they do not respect us and cannot leave behind the outdated concept of confrontation."
"Making unilateral demands while not respecting [North Korea] will not solve the problem of hostile relations between the two countries that have been ongoing for a long time, and only remain as nonsense," the North Korean media statement read.
Mattis, who spoke at his first press briefing in five months, said Tuesday U.S.-South Korea drills could continue, given current North Korea challenges.
"As you know, we took this step to suspend several of the larger exercises as a good-faith measure coming out of the Singapore summit," Mattis said.
"We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises. We will work very closely, as I said, with the secretary of state and what he needs done."