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N.Korea blasts U.S. missile defense test

AP | September 2 2006

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea on Saturday accused the United States of threatening war against the communist nation with its missile defense test, and vowed to strengthen its own self-defense to counter any U.S. attack.

The U.S. on Friday carried out a key test of its missile defense system and succeeded in destroying a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean.

The test "was aimed at attacking us and intercepting our missiles," the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in a statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday.

"It clearly shows that it is the U.S. which is increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and threatening war against our country," said the statement, adding that such U.S. pressure will only lead the North to strengthen its "self-defensive deterrent."

Pyongyang often refers to its nuclear program as a self-defense deterrent.

In July, the North heightened regional tensions by test-firing a barrage of missiles, drawing international condemnation.

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