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N. Korea shifts blame to U.S. for escalating tensions

All News 23:07 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Thursday shifted the blame to the United States for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, warning of a "merciless retaliatory strike" in the case of a U.S. strike.

A spokesperson of its foreign ministry-affiliated institute on arms reduction and peace research said in a statement that Washington is bringing the security situation to the brink of a nuclear war with the deployment of strategic nuclear assets.

The statement came amid a spike in tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, with the latter seen preparing for another nuclear test and the former sending an aircraft carrier strike group in an apparent show of force against the wayward regime.

"By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. is gravely threatening the peace and safety, and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war," the statement said.

The institute also condemned Washington's recent missile strikes against Syria, arguing that "the U.S. is carrying out military strikes and menacing acts against a sovereign state while calling for peace through strength."

In an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to seek cooperation with Beijing in reining in Pyongyang, the institute said that any "dream" to topple its regime thorough cooperation with other states will only be "silly."

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