North Korea accuses the US of building a NATO-like military alliance in Asia

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The allegation that more than 100,000 people are held in political prison camps in North Korea

North Korea accused the US of building a NATO-style military alliance in Asia and stressed that the US goal of overthrowing the North Korean government forced the country to strengthen its defenses.

The allegation that more than 100,000 people are held in political prison camps in North Korea

North Korea’s criticism follows a recent agreement between South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and US President Joe Biden to deploy more US weapons if deemed necessary to deter North Korea, amid concerns it could prepare its first nuclear test in five years.

“While Japan and South Korea are blatantly holding joint military exercises, the United States is making a full-fledged move to establish an Asian-style NATO,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

The statement referred to recent military exercises between US, South Korean and Japanese forces.

The US also held exercises with South Korean forces, with the participation of a US aircraft carrier for the first time in more than four years.

North Korea, which has regularly conducted missile tests this year, has reiterated its claim that such drills are preparations for a war to overthrow it.

“This proves the hypocrisy of the US rhetoric of diplomatic engagement and dialogue without preconditions, while at the same time demonstrating once again that there is no change in the US desire to overthrow our regime by force,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not refer to North Korea’s nuclear or missile programs. But it underlined that the country was forced to strengthen its defenses because of US hostility.

“This fact makes us feel that we must do everything in our power to counter any hostile actions of the United States and develop a greater power,” the statement said.

The United States insists that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons and has offered to meet with North Korean officials to discuss the issue at any time, without preconditions. North Korea has so far rejected these offers.

North Korea’s criticism came before the South Korean President left the country to attend the NATO summit in Spain.

South Korea aims to strengthen its partnership with NATO and play a greater global security role, including by forming a delegation to the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, South Korea’s National Security Adviser said last week.

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