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N.K. envoy claims recent weapons tests do not pose threat to neighboring countries

North Korea 18:12 January 28, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's top envoy in Geneva has claimed the recent series of weapons tests by the communist state do not pose any threat to its neighbors and called on the United States to permanently end military exercises with South Korea, its foreign ministry said Friday.

Ambassador Han Tae-song made the remarks in a speech during the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Tuesday, amid renewed security concerns over Pyongyang's continued test-firings of missiles this month.

"The recent test fire of the new-type weapons was part of activities for carrying out the medium- and long-term plan for the development of defense science, and it does not pose any threat or damage to the security of the neighboring countries and the region," Han was quoted by the ministry as saying.

The ambassador then called on the U.S. to withdraw its "hostile policy" and "double standards" toward the North and "permanently end the offensive military exercises and the deployment of various nuclear strategic assets" in and around the Korean peninsula.

This EPA photo shows Han Tae-song, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. (Yonhap)

This EPA photo shows Han Tae-song, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. (Yonhap)

The North has been ratcheting up tensions with a series of missile launches, including the tests of its self-proclaimed hypersonic missiles on Jan. 5 and 11, amid a protracted deadlock in its nuclear negotiations with Washington.

Both Seoul and Washington expressed concerns over the launches and reiterated calls for Pyongyang to return to dialogue.

Han also used the speech to accuse the U.S. of threatening the North through "unprecedented vicious hostile policy and constant nuclear blackmail."

"Therefore, its accusation of the DPRK's self-defensive deterrent as a "threat" is an intolerable provocation, an open act of double standard and a flagrant violation of sovereignty," the ambassador said.

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


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