North Korea asks US to stop 'demonizing' Pyongyang, threatens 'toughest reaction'

North Korea asks US to stop 'demonizing' Pyongyang, threatens 'toughest reaction'

Foreign Ministry says response to be based on principle of 'nuke for nuke and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation'

ANKARA (AA) – North Korea warned the US on Thursday that it would face the "toughest reaction" if rumors of “demonization” of Pyongyang spread again.

“The U.S. is now working hard to ‘demonize’ the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), spreading again all sorts of rumors. Meanwhile, it, together with its vassal forces, is intensifying the full-scale offensive for putting pressure on the DPRK in all aspects including ‘human rights’, sanctions and military affairs,” the Korean Central News Agency reported, citing a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement.

The military and political situation on the Korean peninsula and in the region has reached an extreme red line due to the reckless military confrontational maneuvers and hostile acts of the US and its vassal forces, it added.

"First, the DPRK will take the toughest reaction to any military attempt of the U.S. on the principle of nuke for nuke and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation!," the Korean Central News Agency reported, citing the ministry statement.

The Pyongyang reaction came after a meeting between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sup in Seoul on Tuesday, during which the two sides agreed to bolster the level and scale of this year's combined military exercises and training.

Washington and Seoul also agreed to work closely together in the future to ensure that US strategic assets are deployed in a timely and coordinated manner.

"We are not ignoring but bearing in mind although we do not react to every ill-boding move committed by the U.S. under the signboard of the "offer of extended deterrence" and "intensified alliance," the ministry said, adding "we are seeing through the true intention of the U.S."

North Korea also accused the US of exacerbating the situation by conducting joint exercises, including a "drill for operating extended deterrence" and the deployment of more strategic assets such as 5th-generation stealth fighters and nuclear carriers, while "unhesitatingly talking about the use of nuclear weapons against the DPRK."

"This is a vivid expression of the U.S. dangerous scenario, which will result in turning the Korean peninsula into a huge war arsenal and a more critical war zone," the statement warned.

Pyongyang has once again rejected any dialogue and stated that it is not interested in any contact or dialogue with the US as long as it maintains "its hostile policy and confrontational line."

"The more dangerous the U.S. threat to the DPRK gets, the stronger backfire the U.S. will face in direct proportion to it," it said.

The latest development comes after tensions on Korean Peninsula escalated late last year, when North Korea launched at least 60 missiles while South Korea and the US held joint military drills.

This month, the US and South Korea also will also hold the Deterrence Strategy Committee table-top exercise.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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