North Korea has criticised the United States and other Group of Seven (G7) countries after G7 foreign ministers urged denuclearisation and condemned the North’s April 13 test of a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
State news agency KCNA reported that North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui as stating that that until military threats from the United States and its allies are eliminated, the country’s status as a nuclear weapons state will remain an obvious fact.
Choe accused the G7 countries of illegally interfering in North Korea’s internal affairs by demanding denuclearisation, saying Pyongyang would respond if they attempted to violate its sovereignty and fundamental interests.
Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons is only intended to guard against U.S. threats, she added, telling Washington to drop its “hostile policy” against the North to ensure its own security.
Seoul’s unification ministry, charged with handling relations between the neighbours, denounced the North’s statement as “far-fetched,” urging it to stop making threats and developing unlawful weapons programmes.
Unification Minister Kwon Young-se said it was not possible to rule out a major provocation by North Korea ahead of a U.S. visit next week by the South’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, for a summit with President Joe Biden.
Tension has flared as North Korea has ramped up military activities, and threatened “more practical and offensive” action as U.S. and South Korean forces hold annual spring military exercises it called a rehearsal for “an all-out, nuclear war”
North Korea had on April 14 tested a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasong-18, to “radically promote” the country’s nuclear counterattack capability.
State media reported that North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un guided the test, and warned it would make enemies “experience a clearer security crisis, and constantly strike extreme uneasiness and horror into them by taking fatal and offensive counter-actions until they abandon their senseless thinking and reckless acts”.
The latest launch came days after Kim called for strengthening war deterrence in a “more practical and offensive” manner to counter what North Korea called moves of aggression by the United States.
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