North Korea on Saturday denounced a move by the U.N. Security Council to discuss its recent launch of short-range missiles, calling it a U.S.-led provocation.
In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean foreign ministry accused the U.N. Security Council of ignoring what it called U.S. military exercises aimed at invading the North while making an issue of what it claimed to be an inevitable choice.
"All military actions taken by our army, including the launch of strategic rockets, are solely an exercise of our right to self defense against the U.S.' nuclear threats and schemes of aggression," the statement said.
"If the U.N. Security Council wishes to fulfill its mission of ensuring security and world peace, it must make an issue of aggressive, threatening and provocative joint military drills of the U.S. and its South Korean puppets," it added.
An official from South Korea's foreign ministry earlier said the 15-member U.N. Security Council has agreed to discuss the communist state's recent firing of short-range missiles into waters off its east coast.
North Korea is under U.N. sanctions against any ballistic missile activity after it conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Tighter sanctions were imposed on the North after the country conducted its third nuclear test in 2013.
The North's statement also came shortly after its official newspaper Minju Joson claimed the recent rocket launches were part of what it called a routine military exercise.
"It is a very just measure for self-defense for the Korean People's Army to stage routine rocket-firing drills to cope with the U.S. constant threat of aggression," the paper said in a signed commentary also carried by KCNA.
"It is a legitimate independent right of a sovereign state to develop and fire rockets," it added.
Minju Joson, published by the North Korean cabinet, also said the country will continue to build its military capabilities, including nuclear arms.
"The DPRK will intensify the drive for implementing the line of simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear force," it said. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.
South and North Korea, which remain divided, are technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended only with a ceasefire, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap)