North Korea has slammed a new security deal between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, warning that it might lead to a “nuclear arms race.”
The Aukus agreement, according to a Foreign Ministry official, will “upset the geopolitical balance in the Asia-Pacific area.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom will provide Australia with the capability to build nuclear-powered submarines.
It’s largely regarded as an attempt to offset China’s influence in the disputed South China Sea.
The Aukus agreement, which was unveiled last week, would also include cruise missiles, AI, and other technology.
“These are very unwanted and hazardous measures that would disturb the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific area and start a nuclear weapons race,” a DPRK Foreign Ministry official warned of the security pact.
North Korea conducted two big weapons tests last week, one of a long-range cruise missile and the other of a ballistic missile.
China has also criticized the agreement, with Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, stating it risks “severely undermining regional peace… and escalating the weapons race.”
“It’s only reasonable that neighbouring nations [such] China denounce these measures as reckless acts aimed at undermining the region’s peace and stability,” Pyongyang stated.
For the first time in 60 years, the United States will share its submarine technology with another country after previously sharing it just once with the United Kingdom.
It implies that Australia will be able to develop nuclear-powered submarines that will be quicker and more difficult to detect than conventionally powered submarines. They can stay submerged for months and fire missiles over larger distances, though Australia claims it has no plans to equip them with nuclear weapons.
During the announcement of the security agreement, China was not specifically addressed. The presidents of the three nations, on the other hand, frequently mentioned “substantially growing” regional security concerns.
North Korea also alluded to a previous remark by France, which referred to the agreement as a “stab in the back” and said it had sparked a “severe crisis” between the allies.
The Aukus contract has been criticized by France since it terminated a $37 billion (£27 billion) deal agreed by Australia in 2016 for France to build 12 conventional submarines. France claims it was only notified of the agreement hours before it was made public.