The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday condemned the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) for concluding a new atomic energy treaty and pledged to bolster its self-defensive nuclear deterrence.
The deal will help the ROK "more frantically step up the moves for developing nukes while ever more undisguisedly reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and enriching uranium," the secretariat of the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
"This is a dangerous criminal move which will escalate tension on the Korean Peninsula and spark off nuclear proliferation and nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia," the statement said.
The secretariat also criticized Washington for "conniving at and patronizing" the ROK nuclear development under the pretext of "controlling nukes."
In response to the renewed treaty, Pyongyang "will further bolster up its self-defensive nuclear deterrence for defending the dignity of the nation, its sovereignty and global peace and security," it said.
On April 22, the ROK and the United States concluded years of negotiations with a deal to revise their nuclear energy pact, which took effect in 1973.
The agreement was originally set to expire in March 2014, but the deadline was extended to March 2016 to buy more time for the two sides to negotiate the revised pact.