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HomeWorldAsiaNorth Korean media calls for stronger nuclear power after US missile test

North Korean media calls for stronger nuclear power after US missile test

North Korea will build up its military deterrent force to ensure its security against US nuclear weapons aimed at it, state media reported.

North Korean media criticised Washington for its recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

On Wednesday, the US Air Force launched a Minuteman III missile with nuclear capability from a base in California. The missile was detonated after an anomaly was detected. South Korean defence officials attended the test in their first such visit since 2016.

A North Korean military commentator said that despite the failure of the test, the presence of South Korean “proxy military thugs” showed that US nuclear weapons were aimed in the direction of North Korea.

An anonymous commentator told KCNA news agency:

The DPRK [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will as ever continue its military action to bolster up the deterrence and ensure the strategic security in the Korean peninsula and the region.

The commentary also harshly criticised South Korea and the US for various recent military actions, including the deployment of US nuclear strategic bombers in South Korea. The North Korean commentator called for strengthening “self-defence nuclear armed forces” and said:

The nuclear threat by the U.S. and its vassal forces to the DPRK nears a new red line.

A spokesperson for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the comment raised the question of whether North Korea was preparing to justify another military “provocation.” Deputy ministry spokesperson Kim In-ae told a briefing:

It is clear that the current heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula resulted from North Korea’s futile nuclear development and reckless military provocations.

Last month, South Korea held joint exercises with the United States and Japan near the Korean Peninsula, involving a US B-52 strategic bomber as well as fighter jets from the three countries. There was also an exercise involving 130 combat aircraft from both countries, simulating round-the-clock operations under wartime conditions.

The US and South Korea say their drills are aimed at maintaining readiness for retaliatory strikes against North Korea. North Korea condemns the drills as preparations by the US and its South Korean ally to invade it.

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