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North Korea accuses US of causing international arms control collapse

SEOUL, March 4 – North Korea on Saturday blamed the United States for what it said was a breakdown in international arms control systems, saying Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons were a just response to ensure the balance of power in the region.

“The Korean peninsula is turning into the world’s largest powder keg and war training ground due to the military expansion scheme led by the United States and its supporters,” its foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

Recent actions by South Korea and Japan have shown that the military buildup of the United States and its followers is crossing a dangerous line and this cannot be tolerated, he added.

The comments follow Friday’s announcement by the United States and South Korea that they plan to hold large-scale military exercises from March 13 to 23 to strengthen the allies’ combined defense posture, including targeting what they called North Korean aggression.

North Korea says such joint military exercises are proof that the United States and its allies are hostile and seeking regime change in the North.

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