• North Korean Leader Blames US For Tensions
North Korea's leader says the United States has caused instability on the Korean Peninsula. (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has blamed the United States for tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim called the U.S. the "root cause" of instability in an opening speech at a defense expo to mark the 76th founding anniversary of the North's ruling Workers' Party, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday.

"There is no basis in their actions for believing that it is not hostile," he said.

Kim also accused South Korea of having "double standards" and "destroying the military balance" on the peninsula with its "dangerous" attempts to strengthen military power.

In his address, Kim said the enhancement of the North's military is not targeted at South Korea or the U.S.

"Our enemy is war itself," Kim said, adding that his country's "external efforts for peace does not in any way mean giving up our rights to self-defense."

The North has been under international sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

But in recent weeks, Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons test, including the launch of what it described as a new-type of hypersonic missile.

In 2018, Kim became the first North Korean leader ever to hold a summit with a U.S. president over denuclearization efforts.

The following year, however, those talks collapsed over sanctions relief and North Korean concessions.

The Joe Biden administration has said it is willing to meet North Korean officials without preconditions, but the Kim regime has so far ignored Washington's efforts to resume dialogue.

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