Pyongyang's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, a state agency in charge of cross-border exchanges, issued a statement by its spokesperson, denouncing the US government's recent review of its nuclear posture as aimed at launching a preemptive nuclear attack on North Korea.
The statement was reported by Korean Central Broadcasting Station and Radio Pyongyang on the day of a rare meeting between its leader Kim Jong-un's sister and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul.
On Feb. 2, the US Department of Defense unveiled its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which placed an emphasis on the development of new weapons, such as "low-yield" nuclear warheads, and the mobilization of nuclear-capable radar-evading fighters.
"The United States defined our self-defensive nuclear deterrence as a threat to world peace and legalized the modernization of its nuclear arsenals and its preemptive nuclear attack on our republic," the North's statement said in Korean.
"(North Korea) will quantitatively and qualitatively strengthen its self-defensive nuclear deterrence in the face of the persistent and vicious nuclear threats and provocations from the US," the statement said.
It then called the NPR an "unpardonable provocation" for the North.
The NPR has been welcomed by South Korea as a reaffirmation of Washington's commitment to providing extended nuclear deterrence for its allies in the face of increasing threats from North Korea.
On the eve of the opening of the Winter Olympics in South Korea's PyeongChang, North Korea held a military parade in Pyongyang, at which it showed off long-range missiles, including its intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland, the Hwasong-15. (Yonhap)