North Korea responded to the announcement of the AUKUS strategic alliance on Monday by calling it “irresponsible” and warning it could launch a “nuclear arms race.”
“These are extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region and trigger off a chain of nuclear arms race,” an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry official told KCNA, the Communist tyranny’s official news service.
The official said North Korea would respond with “corresponding counteraction” if the AUKUS pact has “even the smallest negative effect on our country’s safety.”
“The current situation shows once again that efforts to bolster national defence capabilities based on long-term perspectives should not be eased by even a bit,” said the source, referring to North Korea’s nuclear missile program.
The aspect of AUKUS that appeared most perturbing to the North Korean Foreign Ministry was the deal for Australia to obtain nuclear submarines from the United States instead of France, which responded angrily to being cut out of the sub deal, and on Friday recalled its ambassador to the United States for the first time in history.
The North Korean official sneered that America’s “double-dealing attitude,” which “erodes the universally accepted international norm and order and seriously threatens world peace and stability,” was revealed by the Biden administration’s snub of France.
The official said the U.S.-Australian nuclear sub deal “shows that the U.S. is the chief culprit toppling the international nuclear non-proliferation system.”
North Korea rattled its saber by launching two ballistic missiles into Japanese waters last Wednesday, prompting a furious response from Tokyo. North Korea also appears to be reactivating its Yongbyon reactor, source of much of its weapons-grade nuclear material, and expanding uranium enrichment facilities at the site.
South Korea test-launched a ballistic missile from a submarine last Wednesday, a technical achievement the North Korean Foreign Ministry official derided as a “clumsy piece of work” that would “not be able to serve as an effective means of war.”
“The South’s enthusiastic efforts to improve submarine weapons systems clearly presage intensified military tension on the Korean peninsula,” he added, essentially denouncing the South Korean test launch as reckless and provocative even if it was supposedly clumsy and theatrical.