01:28 GMT08 August 2020
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    Only a powerful military force can defend North Korea from the United States as the US military based in South Korea is becoming a "cancer growth," North Korean Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States have some 28,500 personnel stationed at a garrison in the South Korean capital of Seoul as part of a United States Forces Korea command set up in 1957, four years after the Korean War.

    At an international security conference in Moscow the minister said the "aggressive nature" of the United States had not changed, as current joint US-South Korean military exercises posed a threat to North Korea's security.

    The US Armed Forces regularly stages joint drills with the South Korean military at different locations across the country, a constant concern for Pyongyang.

    "These exercises aim to eliminate our country's economic development and overthrow our regime," Hyon said.

    The defense minister also said that Pyongyang's nuclear deterrence was a "powerful force" for the maintenance of stability in the region.

    North Korea first declared it had developed a nuclear weapon in 2009 and the country test-fires missiles on a regular basis.

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    Tags:
    South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), military drills, United States
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