North Korea says US, UK, Australia submarine deal could trigger ‘nuclear arms race’

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North Korea’s foreign ministry said on Monday the US, Britain and Australia security alliance and submarine contract could trigger a “nuclear arms race” in the region.

The US and Britain announced on September 15 a new Indo-Pacific security alliance that will equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, which is widely seen as a move to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

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“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,” North Korean state news agency KCNA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

“This shows that the US is the chief culprit toppling the international nuclear non-proliferation system. The US double-dealing attitude [is] getting all the more pronounced… and seriously threatens world peace and stability,” the report added.

The North Korean condemnation comes days after nuclear-armed Pyongyang fired two missiles into the sea, with South Korea successfully test-firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile hours later.

The ministry’s official added that his country will “certainly take a corresponding counteraction in case it has even a little adverse impact on the security” of North Korea.

The move also enraged France which accused the US of “duplicity”, and Australia of “betrayal” and declared that a crisis struck at the heart of Western alliances.

France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia.

With AFP

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