North Korea threatened to bolster its nuclear deterrent today in response to US-South Korean war games, striking a discordant note after a week of cultural diplomacy that raised hopes of warmer ties between Washington and Pyongyang.
The North will “take necessary countermeasures including those to further bolster up all its deterrent forces,” the North’s Foreign Ministry said.
The North commonly uses “deterrent” to refer to its nuclear weapons program.
While the North’s military had previously condemned the war games, which began yesterday and involve tens of thousands of South Korean and American troops, the Foreign Ministry comment represents the highest form of official communication from Pyongyang’s government.
Last week the visit of the New York Philharmonic orchestra to Pyongyang had seen a thaw in relations between the US and the North.