In the News – Pyongyang denounces U.S. for firing at N. Korean flag
SEOUL, June 25 (Yonhap) — North Korea vowed Monday to further strengthen its nuclear deterrent to cope with what it called U.S. hostile policy, leveling criticism at the latest South Korea-U.S. joint military drill.
The latest rhetoric came after North Korea’s flag was fired upon during a South Korea-U.S. joint live-fire drill near the border with the North on Friday. The communist nation, which conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, has made similar threats in recent years.
“It is an extremely grave military action and politically-motivated provocation to fire live bullets and shells at the flag of a sovereign state without a declaration of war,” the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in an English-language statement carried by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency.
The unidentified spokesman also claimed the “reckless act” by the U.S. was the most vivid expression of its hostile policy toward the North.
North Korea “will further bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense as long as the U.S. … persists in its hostile policy towards” Pyongyang, the spokesman said in the statement.
North Korea has long used the term, “nuclear deterrent,” to refer to its nuclear arsenal.
The North frequently accuses the United States of hostility toward Pyongyang and plotting with South Korea to invade North Korea.
In March, U.S. President Barack Obama said during a trip to Seoul that Washington has no hostile intent toward North Korea and is prepared to improve relations between the two.
The North’s latest threat comes on the 62nd anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter North Korea’s possible aggression.
Original article can be found here.