North Korea's Foreign Ministry has criticized comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing concerns about growing military cooperation between the North and Russia.
Blinken held talks with his South Korean counterpart on Thursday. He said they shared "profound concerns" that the North Korea-Russia military cooperation is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and poses a serious threat to the world.
A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson responded by releasing a statement via state-run media on Saturday.
It said, "The irresponsible and provocative remarks of Blinken only escalate the dangerous political and military tension in the Korean peninsula and the region."
The statement also said, "The US should be accustomed to the new reality" of relations between North Korea and Russia.
It added, "No matter what others may say, the friendly and cooperative relations" between North Korea and Russia will "steadily grow stronger."
The statement also suggests North Korea intends to seek closer ties with China. It indicates Pyongyang aims to counter the United States through trilateral cooperation with China and Russia.