North Korea accused the United States of continuing its “hostile acts” against the reclusive state and pressuring it to fortify its nuclear deterrence against Washington, state-run media reported Wednesday. The reaction comes one week after Pyongyang launched two intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The North’s latest move over its nuclear and missile ambitions attracted criticism from the U.S., South Korea and Japan. The United Nations Security Council condemned the tests and called for renewed enforcement of sanctions imposed after the country’s fourth nuclear test earlier this year.
On Wednesday, the North Korean foreign ministry said that the country “will continue taking a series of steps for bolstering up the nuclear deterrent for self-defense both in quality and quantity to cope with the ever-escalating U.S. hostile acts against the former,” according to official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The Kim Jong Un-led country also said that the U.S. regularly poses a nuclear threat to it and blamed Washington for bringing in strategic assets, including nuclear-powered submarine Mississippi and B-52H strategic bombers, to the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea also claimed to have carried out the successful launch of what it called the Hwasong-10 missile. The foreign ministry said that the country has the capacity to attack U.S. forces in the Pacific region.
South Korea’s rival state has previously blamed the U.S. for provoking the nuclear-armed country by supporting Seoul. Pyongyang has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests since the beginning of this year, and Kim has called for the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities. Pyongyang also claims to have secured intercontinental ballistic missile technologies. The reclusive nation faces strict sanctions from the U.N. Security Council over its fourth nuclear test in January and a rocket launch in February.
Meanwhile, Kim was given a new title by the country’s parliament Wednesday during the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea meeting. Kim attended the Supreme People’s Assembly where he was appointed chairman of the State Affairs Commission of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, according to KCNA.
At May’s party congress — the first one in 36 years — Kim was named chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party, replacing his previous designation of the party’s first secretary.