SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) — North Korea on Saturday renewed its commitment to bolster its nuclear arsenal, saying its own nuclear deterrent would ensure the balance of power in the region.
The North’s Foreign Office has also criticized the United States for leading the collapse of international arms control systems.
“Nuclear deterrence ensures a balance of forces in the region and strong physical security to prevent the outbreak of a new war,” the North Ministry said in a commentary.
North Korea has claimed that the unilateral buildup of armaments by the United States and its allies increases the risk of armed conflict on the Korean peninsula.
The North’s statement came as South Korea and the United States announced they would conduct joint military exercises this month to bolster allies’ defensive posture.
The joint exercise, called Exercise Freedom Shield, is scheduled to take place March 13-23 without interruption, marking the longest stretch of their joint computer simulation command post exercise.
It is to take place at the same time as the new large-scale field training exercise, called “Warrior Shield”, in accordance with the desire of the allies to strengthen training programs and improve their “realism”.
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