N Korea slams G-7

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s foreign minister on Friday, April 21, 2023, called the Group of Seven (G-7) wealthy democracies a “tool for ensuring the US hegemony” as she lambasted the group’s recent call for the North’s denuclearization.

The top diplomats from G-7 nations, who met recently in Japan, had jointly condemned the North’s recent ballistic missile tests and reiterated their commitment to the goal of North Korea’s complete abandonment of its nuclear weapons. Their communique was prepared as a template for leaders at the G-7 summit next month in Hiroshima, where North Korea’s nuclear program will likely be discussed again.

North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said her country will take unspecified “strong counteraction” if G-7 countries — the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and the European Union — show “any behavioral attempt” to infringe upon the fundamental interests of North Korea.

“G-7, a closed group of a handful of egoistic countries, does not represent the just international community but serves as a political tool for ensuring the US hegemony,” Choe said in a statement carried by North Korean state media.

Choe said the G-7 communique “malignantly” raised the North’s legitimate exercise of its sovereignty.

North Korea has steadfastly argued it was forced to develop nuclear weapons because of US nuclear threats against it. It has said the United States’ regular military drills with South Korea are a rehearsal for invasion, though US and South Korean officials have said their drills are defensive and they have no intentions of attacking the North. / AP