North Korea considered that the new US alliance in Asia and the Pacific, and the US deal to supply nuclear submarines to Australia, may lead to a “nuclear arms race” in the region.
“These are highly hazardous and dangerous operations that will disturb the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific area and ignite a series of nuclear weapons races,” a foreign ministry official was cited as saying by the official North Korean Central News Agency.
“This demonstrates that the US is the primary official endangering the international non-proliferation regime,” he continued.
On Wednesday, Seoul completed a successful test launch of a ballistic missile from a nuclear submarine, making it the eighth country in the world to have this capability. North Korea, which possesses nuclear weapons, had blasted two missiles toward the sea just hours before.
The series of these tests, and defense deals in the Pacific, highlighted an escalating regional arms race, with the increasing rivalry between China and the United States.
US President Joe Biden announced a new Australian-US-British defense alliance, which comes as part of a partnership agreement seen as aimed at countering the rise of China.
This pact delivers US nuclear submarine technology to Australia, as well as ability to defend against cyberattacks, use artificial intelligence, and more, thus eliminating the French from the game.
“It is quite natural for neighboring nations, especially China, to denounce these acts as reckless attempts to undermine regional peace and stability,” the North Korean official said.
He went on to say that if this had a “negative, even little, influence on the security of our nation,” North Korea would “certainly take a counter-reaction.”