SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 October 2021, Wednesday |

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

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.

“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.