The Korea Herald


N. Korea slams S. Korea-US-Japan summit as 'Asian version of NATO'

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 24, 2023 - 21:38

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North Korea on Thursday denounced the trilateral agreement among South Korea, the United States, and Japan as "the Asian version of NATO," and the US scheme to encircle Russia and China.

Pyongyang's defense minister, Kang Sun-nam, issued a statement after the leaders of Seoul, Washington and Tokyo held a trilateral summit at Camp David last week, and agreed to beef up cooperation to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

"The recent confab brought to light the US sinister intention to lay big siege to China and Russia by tightly binding the hands and feet of Japan and the ROK (Republic of Korea), the primary bullet shield for realizing its greedy ambition for world domination, to the Asian version of NATO," read the English statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, referring to South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

It was the first statement by a high-ranking North Korean official following an anonymous commentary that ran on the state media two days earlier accusing the trilateral summit of adopting a series of documents to "detail, plan and formulate" nuclear war provocations.

Kang slammed Washington for "driving the Ukraine crisis to the brink of world nuclear war" by sending weapons, including F-16 fighter jets, to Ukraine, and for slandering "the normal cooperation between sovereign states in the field of national defense for peace and security," in its thinly-veiled response to rumors over Pyongyang's arms trade with Russia.

The defense chief said the North will "resolutely take the overwhelming and preemptive armed counteraction," and "redouble the militant friendship and solidarity with Russia" to fight against their common enemy.

It was seen as the North's latest efforts to boost ties with China and Russia against Seoul forging stronger security cooperation with Washington and Tokyo amid the Russia-Ukraine war and intensifying China-US rivalry.

The statement came after the North's second attempt to put a spy satellite into space failed, three months after its first launch crashed into the sea. (Yonhap)