A spokesman for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this in response to a question from KCNA, the state news agency reported on Sunday.
“The reality clearly shows that the US’s real goal in spreading the rumor of a ‘threat from North Korea’ is to provide an excuse for gaining military supremacy over the Asia-Pacific region” the spokesman said.
“The prevailing situation calls more urgently to build up the country’s defenses to actively cope with the rapid deterioration of the security environment,” the spokesman added.
US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol met on the sidelines of a NATO summit last week and agreed that progress in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs posed a serious threat to not only the Korean peninsula, but also East Asia and the world.
North Korea has been conducting missile tests at an unprecedented pace this year, and some say it is preparing for another nuclear test.
“The deterrence capabilities of the Japan-US-US-Korea alliances need to be upgraded as part of the vital effort to strengthen the trilateral partnership between Japan, the US and ROK,” Kishida said.
Ties between Japan and South Korea have long been tense due to memories of the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
Under South Korea’s previous president Moon Jae-in, relations deteriorated to their worst in years, with disputes over territory and history and the two nations canceling an intelligence-sharing pact. However, Yoon has expressed a desire to restore ties, and Kishida seems to be responding favorably as well.