Pyongyang: The US is trying to create an "Asian NATO"

North Korea has condemned recent joint military exercises conducted by South Korea, Japan, and the United States, warning of severe consequences and likening the drills to an "Asian version of NATO"

by Sededin Dedovic
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Pyongyang: The US is trying to create an "Asian NATO"
© Handout / Getty Images

North Korea condemned the joint military exercises of South Korea, Japan, and the United States on Sunday, calling them an "Asian version of NATO" and warning of "fatal consequences." The criticism came a day after the allies completed the three-day "Freedom Edge" exercises, which included ballistic missile defense, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and defensive cyber training.

"We strongly condemn this display of military muscle," stated Pyongyang's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released by the state news agency KCNA on Sunday, according to AFP. It also emphasized that North Korea "will never overlook the moves by the US and its followers to strengthen the military bloc" and will protect regional peace with an aggressive and superior response.

North Korea threatens nuclear war over US and South Korean exercises

The "Freedom Edge" exercise was designed at a trilateral summit at Camp David last year to strengthen military cooperation amid tensions on the Korean Peninsula stemming from North Korea's weapons tests.

North Korea has long condemned the joint exercises of the United States and South Korea as a rehearsal for invasion and proof of Washington and Seoul's hostile policies. South Korea is concerned about the warming relations between North Korea and Russia amid that country's invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un walk on a red carpet while children greet them by waving Russian flags, Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. South Korea and the United States have accused North Korea of supplying weapons to Russia, allegedly used in the war in Ukraine, which both Russia and North Korea deny.

South Korea has announced that it will consider the possibility of directly supplying weapons to Ukraine, in protest against the recent mutual defense pact signed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Pyongyang-Moscow agreement, signed on June 19, opens the possibility of increased arms flow between the two countries under international sanctions, while Putin explicitly linked potential weapons supplies to Pyongyang with Western moves towards Ukraine, warning Kyiv's allies to withdraw or face a new round of confrontation.

The revival of the Cold War-era military pact between Russia and North Korea has further alarmed the US and its main Asian partners, causing uncertainty and concern that the agreement could undermine regional security, according to global media reports.

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