North Korea has strongly condemned the US ‘arms buildup’ in the region, considering it as an “open provocation” and a prelude to a regional war.
A spokesman for North Korean Foreign Ministry on Monday slammed the US government’s move to boost its military forces in the region, saying Pyongyang will strengthen its own defenses “in every way.”
The remarks came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met their South Korean counterparts in Washington last week, vowing a united front in the region.
Pyongyang has criticized the meeting, saying the two countries planned to make “South Korea an advance base for the implementation of the US strategy for domination over Asia.”
The spokesman also mentioned last week’s revelation that US forces in South Korea planned to increase the number of their attack helicopters and that the US is seeking to build a stronger missile defense system in the region.
US, South Korea and Japan are scheduled to hold naval exercises in the south of the Korean peninsula on Thursday and Friday.
The naval forces of the US and South Korea are also expected to hold three-day maneuvers in the Yellow Sea, starting from Saturday.
Tensions on the peninsula have heightened recently, following a move by North Korea in April to fire a rocket that the United States claimed was a “thinly-veiled ballistic missile test,” banned by United Nations resolutions.
The rocket launch, however, failed as it reportedly broke up and crashed into the sea shortly after blast-off.