Jun 30, 2024, 10:27 AM

North Korea blames US for creating ‘NATO of Asian version’

North Korea blames US for creating ‘NATO of Asian version’

TEHRAN, Jun. 30 (MNA) – North Korea believes that by bolstering their trilateral defense cooperation, the United States, Japan, and South Korea seek to establish a "NATO of Asian version", the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The US is now claiming that the US-Japan-ROK [Republic of Korea] relations are just cooperative ones for strengthening regional stability and security and do not mean NATO of Asian version, but it is nothing but rhetoric to evade international criticism of the formation of an aggressive bloc," the statement said, as quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

According to TASS, the North Korean Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Freedom Edge trilateral military exercise held in the region, describing it as an attempt to "escalate regional military tensions, exert pressure upon the Far East of Russia and lay siege to China."

The ministry pointed out that the agreement to boost defense cooperation inked by the US, Japanese, and South Korean leaders in 2023 is "reminiscent of NATO’s principle of collective defense that it mobilizes its defense capabilities if a member country is attacked, regarding it as an attack on all."

"As NATO stages annual joint military drills in all spheres including land, sea, air, and cyberspace, the US, Japan, and the ROK decided to regularly stage tripartite multi-domain joint military drills. This means that the US-Japan-ROK relations have taken on the full-fledged appearance of Asian-version NATO," it said.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry pledged not to "overlook the moves of the US and its followers to strengthen the military bloc, which openly destroys the security environment on the Korean peninsula and gravely threatens global peace and stability, but firmly defend the sovereignty, security, and interests of the state and peace in the region through offensive and overwhelming countermeasures," the Foreign Ministry emphasized.

This week, the United States, South Korea, and Japan held their first-ever trilateral military exercise, dubbed the Freedom Edge, in international waters south of South Korea’s island of Jeju. The drills involved planes, helicopters, and ships, including the US Navy’s USS Theodore Roosevelt and South Korea’s ROKS Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong destroyer.


News ID 217064


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