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June 26, 2012

N. Korea: Firing on flag a 'reckless act'

The North Korean flag was fired upon during U.S.-South Korea military exercises. (UPI/Stephen Shaver)

SEOUL (UPI) -- North Korea pledged Monday to strengthen its nuclear deterrent after the country's flag was fired upon during U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman called the incident last week a "reckless act" by the United States and said it demonstrated the hostile U.S. policy toward Pyongyang, Yonhap reported.

North Korea's flag was fired upon Friday during a South Korea-U.S. joint live-fire drill near the border with the North.

"It is an extremely grave military action and politically motivated provocation to fire live bullets and shells at the flag of a sovereign state without a declaration of war," the spokesman said in a statement carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

The statement said North Korea will "further bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense as long as the U.S. ... persists in its hostile policy" toward the communist country.

North Korea has accused the United States of hostility toward Pyongyang and of working with South Korea to invade North Korea, the South Korean news agency said. The country's latest threat came on 62nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

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