N Korea slams US over submarine deal, warns countermeasures

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North Korea has criticized the US decision to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines and warned of unspecified retaliation if it finds the deal affects the North’s security.

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State media on Monday published comments by an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry official who called the arrangement between the US, UK and Australia an “extremely dangerous act” that would destroy the security balance in the Asia-Pacific and will trigger the “chain reaction of an arms race”. “

The official said North Korea is closely investigating the deal and will proceed with this action even if it has “the smallest negative impact on the security of our country.”

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US President Joe Biden last week unveiled a new alliance involving Australia and Britain that would deliver an Australian fleet of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines. Biden has insisted that the ships be conventionally armed.

The announcement triggered an angry backlash from France, which has criticized Australia for withdrawing from the French-majority state-owned Naval Group’s 90 billion Australian dollar ($66 billion) contract to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines. Accused of concealing intentions.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attributed the switch to the deteriorating strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific, an apparent reference to China’s massive military build-up that has gained momentum in recent years.

The North Korean official said the United States was also being accused of back-stabbing by its allies, making an apparent reference to the French complaints. The official said the North supports the views of China and other countries that the deal “would destroy regional peace and security and the international non-proliferation system and intensify the arms race.”

“The current situation once again shows that (our) efforts to enhance national defense capabilities based on a long-term view should not be undermined in the slightest,” the official told the Korean Central News Agency.

The North has suspended its tests of nuclear bombs and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles that could hit the US mainland since 2018 when leader Kim Jong Un began diplomacy with former President Donald Trump, while Tried to leverage his arsenal for relief from badly needed sanctions.

Nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since the fall of the second Trump-Kim meeting in 2019, when Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an old nuclear facility, which only will amount to a partial surrender. about its nuclear capabilities.

While maintaining its own moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests, the North continues to test short-range weapons threatening US allies South Korea and Japan in an apparent attempt to pressure the Biden administration over stalled diplomacy.

The North this month tested a new cruise missile it intends to eventually equip with a nuclear warhead and demonstrated a new system for launching ballistic missiles from trains.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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