North Korea
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A Tomahawk missile of the sort Japan plans to buy from the United States is test-fired from a US Navy ship. Photo: Handout via Reuters

North Korea warns US will pay for ‘indiscriminate’ arms sales to Japan, South Korea

  • North Korea’s defence ministry said on Monday that the US ‘would have to pay for the security crisis’ created by arms sales to its Asian allies
  • Washington recently approved the potential sale of US$2.35 billion of Tomahawk missiles to Japan, and Sidewinder and other missiles to South Korea
North Korea
North Korea on Monday denounced the United States’ potential sale of missiles to Japan and South Korea, calling it a dangerous act that raises tension in the region and brings a new arms race, state media reported.

In a statement carried by the KCNA news agency, the North’s defence ministry said Pyongyang will step up measures to establish deterrence and respond to instability in the region, which it said was caused by the US and its allies.

Japan plans to buy 400 Tomahawk missiles from the US, part of its biggest military build-up since World War Two. The Pentagon said on Friday the US State Department has approved the potential sale in a deal valued at US$2.35 billion.
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin shakes hands with General Kim Seung-kyum, chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the defence ministry in Seoul last week. Photo: Yonhap via EPA-EFE
The US has also recently announced the approval of a possible sale of Sidewinder missiles and Standard Missile 6 Block Is to South Korea.

“We warn that the more the United States profits from indiscriminate arms sales, the more it would have to pay for the security crisis,” North Korea’s statement said.

The statement comes as North Korea is preparing to launch a spy satellite. South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik said on Sunday the launch could take place as early as this week.

‘New Cold War’? South Korea, US boost military ties to counter China, the North

“We sternly warn North Korea to squarely face the reality of the international community seriously condemning its illicit activities in one voice, and immediately suspend the plan to launch a military spy satellite now under preparation,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The South Korean military said the satellite launch would be a provocation and a violation of UN Security Council resolutions that ban the North’s use of ballistic missile technology.

Pyongyang has said it would demonstrate “more offensive and overwhelming counteraction capabilities,” citing what it called “military threats” from the US and its allies.

A photo released by the North Korean government last week shows what it says was the testing of new solid-fuel engines designed for intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Photo: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

North Korea said on Wednesday it had successfully conducted static tests of “new-type high-thrust solid-fuel engines” for intermediate-range ballistic missiles, raising speculation over another missile test.

South Korea’s National Security Council convened a meeting on Monday and said it would bolster the military’s readiness to immediately respond to “any provocation” by the North.