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N. Korea slams NATO chief's visit to S. Korea as 'prelude' to confrontation, war

Jan. 30, 2023 - 09:27 By Yonhap
This photo, taken Sunday, shows North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaking in a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin at Seoul's foreign ministry. (Yonhap)

North Korea on Monday denounced a visit to South Korea by the chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a "prelude" to war, saying the move could bring a "new Cold War" to the Asia-Pacific region.

In an article carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Tong-myong, a researcher of the North's organization on international political study, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's current trip to Northeast Asia appears to be aimed at "instigating" the creation of the Asian version of NATO.

"The trip of the NATO secretary general to South Korea and Japan is a prelude to confrontation and war as it brings the dark clouds of a 'new Cold War' to the Asia-Pacific region," Kim said.

Stoltenberg arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a two-day stay, and in a meeting with Foreign Minister Park Jin, he said the North's support of Russia's war with Ukraine reinforces the need for the rest of the world to stay "interconnected" in their security efforts.

The NATO chief plans to visit Japan later in the day for a two-day visit.

The North's researcher condemned Stoltenberg as the head of the military organization that turned Ukraine into a "theater of proxy war."

Kim said Stoltenberg will raise the need to build the Asian version of NATO, and put pressure on Seoul and Tokyo for their passive military support to Ukraine at a time when the United States has decided to supply tanks to Ukraine.

The North has recently denounced Washington's decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, a move to help Kyiv's war with Russia. Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, said Friday that Washington is crossing the "red line."

North Korea formally recognized the independence of the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine, becoming the third country in the world to do so after Russia and Syria. (Yonhap)