North Korea Says U.S. 'Has Not Given Up' Plans to Rule World With Military Budget Targeting Russia and China

North Korea has condemned a recently drafted U.S. defense spending proposal, accusing Washington and the Pentagon of attempting to maintain military dominance by pouring money into the armed forces.

The House Armed Services Committee released earlier this month a $717 billion proposal for the annual National Defense Authorization Act designed to provide the Defense Department with new equipment and improve its readiness for conflict. It also contained clauses specifically targeting leading U.S. military rivals Russia and China, who have complained that the U.S. has unjustly viewed their rise as a challenge to its own power, a view shared by North Korea.

"It shows that the U.S. is seeking to block multi-polarization of the world and keep the unipolar world at any cost. The U.S. has not given up even a moment its wild design to change the world in its favor, dominating it single-handedly. It regards military spending as the size of strength," Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Korean Workers' Party Central Committee, wrote in a commentary, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

"China, Russia and all other countries that challenge the unipolar world by the U.S. are regarded as targets of obstacle lying in the way of realizing 'peace by strength.' The U.S. ambition to dominate the world with strength remains unchanged in any case," it later added.

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A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet flies over an apartment complex in Gwangju, South Korea, May 16, 2018. North Korea is pursuing rare dialogue with South Korea and the U.S., but has threatened to call off peace talks over their ongoing "Max Thunder" joint military drills. Yonhap News Agency/Reuters

The commentary highlighted rising U.S. military spending throughout and after the Cold War, a trend that has inflated the nation's defense budget to a size larger than the next 10 countries combined. As Russia and China invest in their own armed forces and increase their political influence, Rodong Sinmun wrote that the U.S. was frantically trying to "establish its supremacy over this planet" by checking its competitors in strategic regions such as the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The latest bill would not only further expand the Pentagon's budget, but it also lay new sanctions on Russia's defense industry and prohibit cooperation between the U.S. and Russian militaries. The proposal targeted China too, forbidding the U.S. from dealing with Chinese firms Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, which the document's authors accused of being linked to China's spy agency.

Related: U.S. is Asia's strongest power, but China is catching up and Russia is helping

The proposal also called for an official estimate as to the number of casualties that would result if the U.S. conducted military action against North Korea. Such language has been viewed as provocative by North Korea, which has argued its nuclear weapons program were worth the heavy international sanctions because it provided a deterrent against potential U.S. invasion. Russia and China, which have sought closer bilateral military, political and economic cooperation, have also opposed North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but have opposed U.S. military deployments in the Pacific.

Therefore, Moscow and Beijing have advocated for a "freeze-for-freeze" approach in which North Korea would halt nuclear testing in exchange for the U.S. suspending military drills. North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un announced earlier this month he would stop nuclear testing and longer-range missile launches as well as dismantle his nuclear testing site ahead of a landmark meeting with President Donald Trump. The U.S., however, has indicated it would not reciprocate.

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A graphic shows the location of sites associated with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site is indicated as the “nuclear test facility” in the country’s northeast. STATISTA

Source: Statista.com

After the U.S. and South Korea commenced their annual "Max Thunder" air drills Monday, the Korean Central News Agency announced the suspension of the fragile inter-Korean dialogue and threatened to cancel next month's scheduled meeting between Kim and Trump in Singapore. The article described the U.S.-South Korea maneuver as "a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties."

Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's first vice-minister of foreign affairs, also pushed back against the current peace process Tuesday in response to comments made by National Security Adviser John Bolton. Bolton, who was a staunch supporter of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, also lauded a 2003 nuclear deal between the U.S. and Libya, then led by Muammar Qaddafi. The following year, he urged North Korea to follow the same model and repeated this same comparison in past months.

Kim Kye Gwan pointed out that the "world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq which have met miserable fate" and said that the peace talks could not continue "if the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment."

North Korea Says U.S. 'Has Not Given Up' Plans to Rule World With Military Budget Targeting Russia and China | World