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North Korea criticizes military cooperation between the United States, South Korea and Japan

The statement took issue with a trilateral meeting between the leaders of the United States, South Korea and Japan on the sidelines of a NATO summit last week, during which they stressed the need to strengthen their cooperation in dealing with Korea’s nuclear threats. from North.

“The chief executives of the US, Japan, and South Korea joined hands for confrontation with (North Korea) and discussed dangerous joint military countermeasures against it, including launching joint tripartite military exercises,” the statement said. .

North Korea views US-led military exercises in the region, particularly those with rival South Korea, as an invasion rehearsal, though Washington and Seoul have repeatedly said they have no intention of attacking the North.

During the recent trilateral meeting, US 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 missile drills would be important to deter threats from North Korea.

In early June, the defense chiefs of the US, South Korea and Japan agreed to resume their combined missile warning and tracking exercises as part of their efforts to deal with escalating North Korean weapons tests. .

North Korea’s statement accused the United States of exaggerating rumors about North Korea’s threats “to provide an excuse to achieve military supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Korean peninsula.”

US officials have said Washington has no hostile intentions toward Pyongyang and urged it to return to disarmament talks without preconditions. North Korea rejected the US offer, saying it would focus on bolstering its nuclear deterrent unless the US abandons its hostile policies toward the North, an apparent reference to US-led economic sanctions and its regular military training with Korea. from the south.

North Korea claimed that the recent NATO summit demonstrates an alleged US plan to contain Russia and China by achieving the “militarization of Europe” and forming a NATO-like alliance in Asia. He said “reckless military moves by the US and its vassal forces” could have dangerous consequences, such as a nuclear war unfolding simultaneously in both Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

Pyongyang has often launched similar bellicose rhetoric and warned of the danger of nuclear war at a time of heightened animosity with Washington and Seoul.

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