NKorea Slams US-SKorea-Japan Alliance 07/03 08:46
North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States, South Korea and Japan for
pushing to boost their trilateral military cooperation targeting the North,
warning that the move is prompting urgent calls for the country to reinforce
its military capability.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States,
South Korea and Japan for pushing to boost their trilateral military
cooperation targeting the North, warning that the move is prompting urgent
calls for the country to reinforce its military capability.
North Korea has long cited what it calls hostility by the United States and
its allies as a reason to pursue a nuclear program. Sunday's statement comes as
North Korea's neighbors say the country is ready for its first nuclear test in
five years as part of its provocative run of weapons tests this year.
"The prevailing situation more urgently calls for building up the country's
defense to actively cope with the rapid aggravation of the security environment
of the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world," the North Korean Foreign
Ministry said in a statement, without elaborating how it would boost its
The statement took issue with a trilateral meeting among the U.S., South
Korean and Japanese leaders on the sidelines of a NATO summit last week, during
which they underscored the need to strengthen their cooperation to deal with
North Korean nuclear threats.
"The chief executives of the U.S., Japan and South Korea put their heads
together for confrontation with (North Korea) and discussed the dangerous joint
military countermeasures against it including the launch of tripartite joint
military exercises," the statement said.
North Korea views U.S.-led military exercises in the region, particularly
ones with rival South Korea, as an invasion rehearsal, though Washington and
Seoul have repeatedly said they have no intentions of attacking the North.
During the recent trilateral meeting, U.S. President Joe Biden said he was
"deeply concerned" about North Korea's continued ballistic missile tests and
apparent plans to conduct a nuclear test. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol
said the importance of trilateral cooperation has grown in the face of North
Korea's advanced nuclear program, while Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
said joint anti-missile drills would be important to deter North Korean threats.
Earlier in June, the defense chiefs of the U.S., South Korea and Japan
agreed to resume their combined missile warning and tracking exercises as part
of their efforts to deal with North Korea's escalating weapons tests.
The North Korean statement accused the United States of exaggerating rumors
about North Korean threats "to provide an excuse for attaining military
supremacy over the Asia-Pacific region including the Korean Peninsula."
U.S. officials have said Washington has no hostile intent toward Pyongyang
and urged it to return to disarmament talks without any preconditions. North
Korea has rejected the U.S. overture, saying it would focus on buttressing its
nuclear deterrent unless the United States drops its hostile policies toward
the North, an apparent reference to U.S.-led economic sanctions and its regular
military training with South Korea.
North Korea claimed the recent NATO summit proves an alleged U.S. plan to
contain Russia and China by achieving the "militarization of Europe" and
forming a NATO-like alliance in Asia. It said "the reckless military moves of
the U.S. and its vassal forces" could lead to dangerous consequences like a
nuclear war simultaneously taking place in both Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Pyongyang has often released similar warlike rhetoric and warned of the
danger of nuclear war in times of heightened animosities with Washington and