N. Korea slams US for overstating Pyongyang’s missile capacity

November 14, 2014
North

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary, monitored in Seoul, that the U.S. media campaign aims to exaggerate North Korean threats in order to boost its military presence on the peninsula.

SEOUL (Yonhap) — North Korea lambasted the United States on Friday for trying to exaggerate Pyongyang’s missile capacity, a tactic which the North said is aimed at stepping up the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula.

The criticism from Pyongyang came after a U.S.-based media website, the Washington Free Beacon, reported in August that North Korea was developing a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles.

The U.S. news triggered similar media reports on the new submarine development by the North in the U.S. and South Korea.

Calling such reports “a sneaky plot” by the U.S. government, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary, monitored in Seoul, that the U.S. media campaign aims to exaggerate North Korean threats in order to boost its military presence on the peninsula.

“This is a sneaky plot in which the U.S. is trying to legalize the delay in the (planned) return of its wartime operational control of the South Korean (military) on the pretext of threats from ours as well as to build up the THAAD system (on the peninsula),” the KCNA report said, referring to the U.S. moves to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense system.

“The South Korean and Western media are exaggerating with a keen interest that the North is developing underwater missile technology and planning to build and deploy a missile-equipped submarine in the near future,” it noted.

“It will be a big mistake for the U.S. to drum up pressure on the North by spreading media reports on our submarine-launched missiles,” the North said. “It will lead to powerful counteraction from us.”

The North Korean report also came one day after South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo warned of North Korea’s growing military capacity.

Asked to confirm the North’s suspected development of a missile-loaded submarine, Han said in a parliamentary meeting that he cannot officially verify it but South Korea is keeping close tabs on the issue.

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