North Korea says U.S.-South Korea-Japan agreement materialises U.S. plan for 'Asian NATO'

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SEOUL, July 3 (Reuters) - North Korea criticised the United States, South Korea and Japan's recent agreement on strengthening military cooperation to be a means to materialise a U.S. plan for a military alliance like NATO in the region.

North Korea's foreign ministry spokesperson said as much to a question put by KCNA, the state news agency reported on Sunday.

"The reality clearly shows that the real purpose of the U.S. spreading the rumour about 'threat from North Korea' is to provide an excuse for attaining military supremacy over the Asia-Pacific region," said the spokesperson.

"The prevailing situation more urgently calls for building up the country's defences to actively cope with the rapid aggravation of the security environment," the spokesperson added.

The leaders of the United States, South Korea and Japan met on the sidelines of a NATO summit last week and agreed to explore further means to reinforce "extended deterrence" against North Korea. (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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