North Korea has criticised the defence pact made between Australia, UK and US in a move it calls “undesirable and dangerous”, promising retaliation if it feels threatened.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the three countries of “destroying the peace and stability”, in a statement published by state news agency KCNA.
"These are extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region and trigger off a chain of nuclear arms race," the ministry said.
“We are closely looking into the background of the US recent decision and its prospect and will certainly take a corresponding counteraction in case it has even a little adverse impact on the security of our country.”
The rogue nation is referring to last week’s announcement that Australia is adopting a new nuclear-powered submarine fleet. It is widely seen as a direct response to China's growing threat in the region.
Australia, the UK and US will also now share intelligence on a range of matters including artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.
China’s state-run media are not pleased with the move either suggesting Australia “has made an adversary” of China.
North Korea also backed complaints from France, which is angered by Australia scrapping a French submarine contract, and accused the US of "double-dealing" in allowing the "spread (of) nuclear technology if it is in its interests" and in "toppling the international nuclear non-proliferation system."
North Korea to bolster its defence in response to AUKUS pact
Pyongyang stated that the establishment of an alliance such as AUKUS shows that "bolstering the capabilities for national defence from a long-term perspective should not be slackened even a bit in order to cope with the ever-changing international security environment".
Over the weekend France recalled its ambassadors in Australia and the United States for consultations. In diplomatic terms, it has been labelled an "extraordinary step" between allies.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that the rare decision taken by President Emmanuel Macron was made due to the seriousness of the event.
Mr Le Drian described Australia's sudden submarine about-face as "a stab in the back".
North Korea celebrated its 73rd anniversary earlier this month with a trimmed down leader Kim Jong-un sighted during the celebrations.
Much has been made of Kim’s appearance lately following suggestions the North Korean leader was unwell and possibly on the brink of death.
But a number of public appearances in the rogue nation over the past few months have only reinforced theories he has lost weight to maintain his health and control over North Korea.
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