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Pyongyang denounces South's arms buildup

Posted October. 08, 2000 20:06,   


North Korea is heaping denunciations upon the Seoul government for its 2001 budget plan, which calls for a 6.5 percent increase in defense spending to 15 trillion won, and its medium-term defense blueprint for 2001-2005, which focuses on strengthening core military capability. A statement issued by the spokesman for the (North's) Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland branded the South's military policy a flagrant breach of the June 15 joint declaration reached by the leaders of the two Koreas and an intolerable criminal act. Commentaries to the same effect were made successively Oct. 7 and 8 by North Korean Central News Agency, Pyongyang Broadcasting and the Rodong Sinmun.

In an article entitled "Such reckless acts must be stopped," the Rodong Sinmun on Sunday said, "The South Korean authorities are chanting slogans in public in favor of reconciliation and cooperation and the faithful implementation of the June 15 accord, but behind the scenes they are keen on arms buildup. This proves their reckless scheme to prevail over the North through military power."

Pointing out the fact that the revelation of Seoul's plan came on the heels of the talks between the two sides' defense ministers, the newspaper mentioned "the criminal attempt of the South Korean government to beef up its military capacity behind the curtain of dialogue for the purpose of harming us, its dialogue partner, in conjunction with foreign powers." This shows South Korea's lack of interest in abiding by the joint declaration, it said.