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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” accusing her of inciting anti-North Korea sentiment and enraging China during her Asian tour earlier this week.

Pelosi traveled to South Korea after visiting Taiwan, which had prompted China to launch military exercises including missile strike training in waters near the self-governed island.

China views Taiwan as part of its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

While in South Korea, Pelosi visited a border area with North Korea and discussed the North’s nuclear program with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo. According to Kim, the two agreed to support their governments’ push for denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula based on strong, extended deterrence against the North and diplomacy.

On Saturday, Jo Yong Sam, director general at the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s press and information affairs department, slammed Pelosi over her visit to the border and discussion of anti-North Korean deterrence.

“Pelosi who had come under a volley of due criticism from China for destroying regional peace and stability by visiting Taiwan, stirred up the atmosphere of confrontation” with North Korea during her stay in South Korea, Jo said in a statement carried by state media.

Calling Pelosi “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability,” Jo argued Pelosi’s behavior in South Korea clearly showed the Biden administration’s hostile policy toward North Korea.

“It would be a fatal mistake for her to think that she can go scot-free in the Korean Peninsula,” Jo warned. “The U.S. will have to pay dearly for all the sources of trouble spawned by her wherever she went.”

Pelosi’s visit to the Joint Security Area at the Korean border on Thursday made her the highest-profile American to go there since then-President Donald Trump visited in 2019 for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Located inside the world’s most heavily fortified border, the area is jointly controlled by the American-led United Nations Command and North Korea. U.S. presidents and other top officials have previously traveled to the area to reaffirm their security commitment to South Korea in times of animosities with North Korea.

During her JSA visit, Pelosi didn’t make any strong public statements against North Korea. She uploaded several photos from the JSA on Twitter and wrote: “We conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the Country for the patriotic service of our servicemembers, who stand as sentinels of Democracy on the Korean Peninsula.”

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high following North Korea’s torrid run of missile tests earlier this year. U.S. and South Korean officials said North Korea is ready to carry out its first nuclear weapons test in five years.

North Korea has said it would not return to denuclearization talks and instead focus on expanding its nuclear program unless the United States drops its hostile policies, in an apparent reference to U.S.-led international sanctions on the North and its regular military drills with South Korea.

After Pelosi visited Taiwan and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island, North Korea on Wednesday issued a statement berating the U.S. and supporting China, its main ally and biggest aid benefactor.

Pelosi was the the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Tags: anti north korea with south korea with north korea nuclear program in south korea north korea to south korea the north commitment house speaker visit south korean north korean earlier this on saturday a statement traveled

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Police: 4th Muslim killed in Albuquerque over past 9 months

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say the killing of a Muslim man on Friday night in Albuquerque may be linked to the ambush shooting deaths of three Muslim men over the past nine months in New Mexico’s biggest city.

Police said Saturday that the victim in the latest killing was a Muslim from South Asia who is believed to be in his mid-20s. The man, whose identity hasn’t yet been confirmed by investigators, was found dead after police received a call of a shooting.

Earlier this week, police confirmed that local detectives and federal law enforcement officers were looking for possible ties among the separate crimes. Two of the men — Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41 — were killed in the past week, and both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque. The third case involves the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, a Muslim man of South Asian descent.

“There is reason to believe this death is related to those shootings,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said during a news conference Saturday.

Police declined to say whether the killing on Friday night was carried out in a way similar to the other deaths.

Authorities say they can’t say yet if the shootings were hate crimes until they have identified a suspect and can determine a motive.

The killings came as Albuquerque is on pace for another record-setting year of homicides.

“Our community has been devastated, as you can imagine,” said Ahmad Assed, the president of Islamic Center of New Mexico. “We have never gone through anything like this before. This is really a surreal time for us.”

A $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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