In the midst of the Ukraine conflict, North Korea has accused the US of attempting to “establish an Asia-style NATO.”
“While blatantly holding joint military exercises with Japan and South Korea, the United States is making a full-fledged move to establish an Asia-style NATO,” North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The United States and South Korea recently concluded a naval exercise earlier this month. The three-day exercise took place off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.
Significantly, US aircraft carriers participated in the naval exercise, which was organized by the US Navy’s 7th Fleet to improve interoperability between the two navies amid tensions between South Korea and North Korea.
The news comes as reports suggest North Korea is preparing to conduct nuclear tests. This year, North Korea has conducted a number of ballistic missile tests, including an ICBM missile launch.
The United States and South Korea have warned of a swift reply if North Korea conducts a nuclear test. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had the US has “no hostile intent” towards Kim Jong-Un’s regime while pursuing a “diplomatic approach”.
“This proves the hypocrisy of the US rhetoric of ‘diplomatic engagement’ and ‘dialogue without preconditions, while at the same time revealing again that there is no change in the US ambition to overthrow our system by force,” North Korea said.