North Korea's top envoy in Geneva has claimed the recent series of weapons tests do not pose any threat to its neighbours and called on the US to permanently end military exercises with South Korea, Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Ambassador Han Tae-song made the remarks in a speech during the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva earlier this week, amid renewed security concerns over Pyongyang's continued test-firings of missiles this month, reports Yonhap News Agency.
"The recent test fire of the new-type weapons was part of activities for carrying out the medium- and long-term plan for the development of defence science, and it does not pose any threat or damage to the security of the neighbouring countries and the region," Han was quoted by the Ministry as saying.
The Ambassador then called on the US to withdraw its "hostile policy" and "double standards" toward the North and "permanently end the offensive military exercises and the deployment of various nuclear strategic assets" in and around the Korean Peninsula.
The North has been ratcheting up tensions with a series of missile launches, including the tests of its self-proclaimed hypersonic missiles on January 5 and 11, amid a protracted deadlock in its nuclear negotiations with Washington.
Both Seoul and Washington expressed concerns over the launches and reiterated calls for Pyongyang to return to dialogue.