North Korea said Thursday its missile and nuclear programs pose no threat, ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to South Korea for talks expected to focus on the communist country.
North Korea's military accused South Korea of misusing what it called "nonexistent nuclear and missile threats" as a pretext to invade, and renewed a warning that its troops are in an "all-out confrontational posture" against Seoul.
The statement from the North Korean military's general staff came as the regime is believed to be gearing up to test-fire a long-range missile and Clinton is scheduled to arrive in Seoul later Thursday for meetings expected to tackle the missile issue.
It also underscored high tensions between the two Koreas since Seoul's pro-American, conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office a year ago and sought hard-line policies toward Pyongyang.
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