PYONGYANG, October 3 (Itar-Tass) - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has strongly reacted to the joint naval exercises launched by the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan earlier this week off the southern extremity of the Korean Peninsula with a view to raising interaction between the three countries' navies. An official of the DPRK's National Committee for Peace said Thursday that as a result of such actions, "the situation in the region is getting aggravated with every passing day".
A statement issued by the Committee emphasizes that the exercises constitute a "gross challenge to the peace efforts of the DPRK and a dangerous provocation undermining the atmosphere of dialogue between the North and South".
The participation of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier "George Washington" of the US Navy aroused a particular concern in Pyongyang.
The DPRK consistently "comes out in favor of peace and dialogue but does not intend to remain a passive observer in the light of nuclear blackmail on the part of the United States," the Committee official warned.
Along with the American aircraft carrier, the naval maneuvers are involving South Korean and Japanese destroyers, fitted out with the ABM system Aegis, as well as fighter planes, submarines, and early-warning and long-range detection helicopters and aircraft.