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N. Korea slams S. Korea for stealth jet purchase

North Korea 14:58 July 11, 2019

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Thursday denounced South Korea's plan to purchase stealth jets from the United States, claiming it is aimed at invading the communist nation and constitutes a violation of their deal to reduce tensions.

South Korea bought two F-35A fighter jets in March and now plans to purchase two more stealth jets in mid-July. It is part of Seoul's efforts to bring in 40 F-35As for deployment through 2021.

"There is no room for doubt that the delivery of the F-35A ... is aimed at securing military supremacy over the neighboring countries in the region and especially opening a 'gate' to invading the North," said the statement from the policy research director of the Institute for American Studies of the North's foreign ministry in English.

"Inter-Korean relations cannot hold any prospect as long as the South Korean authorities do not avoid the fate of depending on outside forces, which compels them to make two steps backwards when the White House pulls down its check-bar while making one step forward when there is any sign of improved DPRK-U.S. relations," it added.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency said that Seoul's plan to purchase stealth jets has challenged "head-on" the military deal the two Koreas reached last year to reduce cross-border tensions.

"We, on our part, have no other choice but to develop and test the special armaments to completely destroy the lethal weapons reinforced in South Korea," it said.

"The South Korean authorities had better come to their senses before it is too late, shattering the preposterous illusions that an opportunity would come for improved inter-Korean relations if they follow in the footsteps of the U.S.," it added.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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