SEOUL, Nov 3 (Reuters) – North Korea will increase its military deterrent to ensure its security against a U.S. nuclear arsenal aimed at it, its state media reported on Friday, as it criticized the United States over a recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). proof.
The US Air Force launched a nuclear-capable Minuteman III missile from a base in California on Wednesday, but the missile exploded after an anomaly was detected. The test was attended by South Korean defense officials in their first such visit since 2016.
A North Korean military commentator said that despite the test’s failure, the presence of South Korean “puppet military gangsters” demonstrated that American nuclear weapons were aimed at North Korea.
“The DPRK will continue its military action as always to strengthen deterrence and ensure strategic security on the Korean Peninsula and the region,” the unnamed commentator said in a report published by state news agency KCNA, referring to the country by its initials. from its official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The commentary also criticized the United States and South Korea for several recent military measures, including the deployment of American nuclear strategic bombers to South Korea.
“The nuclear threat from the United States and its vassal forces to the DPRK is approaching a new red line,” the North Korean commentator said, calling for the strengthening of “nuclear armed self-defense forces.”
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the comment raised the question of whether North Korea was preparing to justify another military “provocation.”
“It is clear that the current tensions on the Korean Peninsula are the result of North Korea’s futile nuclear development and its reckless military provocations,” ministry vice spokesman Kim In-ae said at a briefing.
South Korea held a joint exercise with the United States and Japan near the Korean Peninsula last month, involving a U.S. B-52 strategic bomber and fighter jets from the three nations.
The United States and South Korea also held air exercises with 130 fighter jets from both countries last month to simulate 24-hour war operations.
South Korea and the United States say their exercises are aimed at maintaining combat readiness to respond to North Korea.
North Korea denounces the exercises as preparations by the United States and its South Korean ally to invade it.
Information by Hyunsu Yim; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Robert Birsel
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