North Korea accuses the US of setting up Asian NATO
North Korea has accused the United States of setting up a military alliance like NATO in Asia. According to North Korea’s government, it has been forced to develop stronger defenses because of the U.S’ aim to oust Kim Jong Un from power.
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.
“While blatantly holding joint military exercises with Japan and South Korea, the United States is making a full-fledged move to establish an Asia-style NATO,” North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement on its website on Sunday, June 26.
North Korea was referring to recent military exercises conducted by U.S., South Korean, and Japanese forces in Asia. The exercises also involved a U.S. aircraft carrier, the first time one was used in more than four years.
North Korea, which has been conducting regular missile tests this year, repeated its assertion that such drills were preparation for a war aimed at overthrowing it. 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.
“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.