FILE PHOTO – A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Picture
SEOUL, June 27 (Reuters) – North Korea has accused the United States of setting up a military alliance like NATO in Asia, saying the unwavering U.S. aim to oust North Korea’s government compelled it to develop stronger defences.
The North Korean criticism comes amid concern it could be preparing its first nuclear test in five years and after a recent agreement between South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden to deploy more U.S. weapons if deemed necessary to deter the North.
It was referring to recent military exercises conducted by U.S., South Korean and Japanese forces. The United States also held exercises with South Korean forces that involved a U.S. aircraft carrier, for the first time in more than four years.
“This proves the hypocrisy of the U.S. rhetoric of ‘diplomatic engagement’ and ‘dialogue without preconditions’, while at the same time revealing again that there is no change in the U.S. ambition to overthrow our system by force,” the North Korean ministry said.
“The reality … makes us feel the need to make all-out efforts to develop even stronger power to be able to subdue all kinds of hostile acts by the United States,” it said.
The United States is insisting that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons and has repeatedly offered to meet North Korean officials “at any time without preconditions” to discuss the issue. North Korea has rebuffed the offers.
The North Korean criticism came a day before South Korea’s president left to attend a NATO summit in Spain, the first South Korean leader to do so.
South Korea, aiming to strengthen its partnership with NATO and play a bigger global security role, plans to set up a delegation to NATO at its Brussels headquarters, South Korea’s national security adviser said last week.
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