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North Korea’s Defence Ministry: Washington is a “persistent threat”, not North Korea

The North Korean government has issued a statement on the need for decisive military action after a new US strategy to counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD) labelled Pyongyang a “persistent threat”.

Seoul’s Defence Ministry, for its part, warned that North Korea would face “the end of its regime” in any attempt to use nuclear weapons. Pyongyang recently made changes to enshrine its nuclear policy in the country’s constitution.

North Korea’s Defence Ministry spokesman on Wednesday condemned the description of its state as a “persistent threat” in the US Defence Department’s “2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, the spokesman said such wording was another serious military and political provocation against the regime.

Also, a Defence Ministry spokesman said the term “persistent threat” was more suited to Washington, the world’s largest WMD holder, and warned that the North would be able to mount an overwhelming and sustained response to US military strategy.

This statement is the fifth in the past four days as Pyongyang appears eager to justify its nuclear build-up efforts.

In Seoul, the Defence Ministry warned on Wednesday that Pyongyang would face “the end of its regime” in any attempt to use nuclear weapons, following Pyongyang’s recent move to enshrine its nuclear policy in the country’s constitution.

The ministry said South Korea and the US maintained a combined readiness that is capable of responding with redundancy to any attack by the North.

Last week, North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly passed a new revision to allow for deeper development of nuclear weapons, a year after passing a new nuclear weapons law authorising the preventive use of such weapons.

Earlier, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Im Chon Il said the alliance between the US, Japan and South Korea as well as NATO were cancerous tumours of the world order, posing a threat to peace and global security.

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