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PYONGYANG, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. US President Barack Obama’s tour of Asia-Pacific countries was aimed at “the escalation of tensions in the volatile region", a statement of the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
US politics “prevent the restart of six-party talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and contributes to an arms race in the Asia-Pacific region,” it said. The US president is expected to visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in April. In accordance with a strategy approved in 2011, the Obama administration expects “to block its enemies in the Asia-Pacific region and increase its military and political influence there,” the statement continued.
North Korea believes the United States pursues the strategy aimed at the establishment of control of the region “under the pretext of a nuclear-missile threat and provocations from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.
Citing North Korea’s nuclear program as a reason, US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed during his visits to Seoul and Beijing this year “Washington’s decision to hold joint maneuvers with South Korea within the set timeframe” despite high-level contacts between the North and the South, the statement said.
American-South Korean war games “are held on a regular basis, are getting increasingly large-scale and are aimed at constantly keeping the DPRK on tenterhooks,” it added. As a result, Pyongyang had to “strengthen its nuclear deterrent capabilities and take counter-measures,” the document said.
North Korea “will double its efforts towards the strengthening of its deterrent capabilities in the interests of self-defense,” the Foreign Ministry said, advising Washington to revise its hostile course against Pyongyang “before it was too late”.