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PYONGYANG, March 31. /TASS/. The United States bears full responsibility for the deteriorating situation on the Korean Peninsula, a spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. By way of evidence, he cited the "unprecedented large-scale joint US-South Korean Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises."
Under the circumstances, the North Korean Foreign Ministry believes "Washington’s attempts to put the blame for the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula on Pyongyang" are futile.
The diplomat warned that "if Washington attempts to violate the sovereignty of the people’s republic, Pyongyang will retaliate by dealing a relentless blow using all available means, including nuclear."
According to the North Korean Foreign Ministry, "the US is threatening North Korea with nuclear weapons exerting powerful economic and political pressure on the country," including sanctions, blackmail and military exercises. To achieve its "reckless goals" Washington "is using illegal means and methods pursuing hostile policies against the republic’s top leadership and its social system."
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated dramatically in the wake of the large-scale US-South Korean exercises that began on March 7 and will last until the end of April. More than 300,000 South Korean and 15,000 US troops take part in them this year. Pyongyang says these exercises are an overture to a large-scale invasion, since strikes on North Korea’s strategic facilities, including nuclear, are practiced during the exercises and special operations to advance deep into the territory of North Korea are held.
On March 15, Pyongyang announced plans to carry out nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. The North Korean authorities said in early February that the launch of a satellite aboard a carrier rocket had been carried out, and on February 6 Pyongyang conducted its fourth underground nuclear test in ten years. North Korea says the nuclear test was carried out for self-defense purposes in response to Washington’s hostile policy, and the launch of the satellite - "for the benefit of space exploration for peaceful purposes."
UN Security Council resolutions prohibit all Pyongyang’s activities related to nuclear technology and the development of ballistic missiles.