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N. Korea orders overseas missions not to antagonize US: S. Korea's state intelligence agency

Park Jie-won, director of the National Intelligence Service, attends a meeting of the parliamentary intelligence committee at the National Assembly in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
Park Jie-won, director of the National Intelligence Service, attends a meeting of the parliamentary intelligence committee at the National Assembly in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
North Korea has recently ordered its overseas missions not to antagonize the United States amid an ongoing power transition in Washington following the presidential election win by Joe Biden, according to Seoul lawmakers Friday.

The Kim Jong-un regime also executed a big shot in the Pyongyang money change market in late October for a sudden exchange rate fluctuation and an official in August for bringing in prohibited goods amid toughened border customs control due to the new coronavirus pandemic, they quoted South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) as reporting.

They received a closed-door briefing from the NIS during a meeting of the parliamentary intelligence committee, according to Rep. Kim Byung-kee and Rep. Ha Tae-keung, who attended the meeting.

North Korea has reportedly warned that ambassadors will be held responsible if any problems related to the US occur, Kim quoted NIS officials as saying.

"We've been told that there have been orders to exercise utmost prudence in language," the lawmaker said.

The NIS also told the committee that the North Korean leader has shown "irrational actions" amid the North's economic difficulties as of late, including a rise in commodity prices and a decline in industrial activities.

The North has even suspended fishing and salt production due to fears that sea water could be contaminated by COVID-19, the lawmakers quoted NIS officials as saying.

NIS officials also said the North Korean government has exposed anxieties after the supposed friendly accord between US President Donald Trump and Kim has become "useless" following Trump's election defeat, Kim said.

The spy agency also said there are talks inside North Korea that the US may return to its so-called strategic patience policy during the Barack Obama administration, as well as hopes of a Washington-Pyongyang summit amid a prediction of a systemic approach by the incoming Biden administration toward the North.

The NIS also reported that the North could postpone its Workers' Party convention announced for early next year due to disease control issues.

According to the NIS, the country also plans to hold another military parade during the convention period so as to show off its weapons capabilities ahead of the launch of the Biden administration. (Yonhap)
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