PYONGYANG, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Wednesday that its recent short-range missile launches were "successful normal training within its own territory," the official KCNA news agency reported.
A spokesman for the Korean People's Army (KPA) dismissed U.S. allegations that the DPRK "provokes" and warned that Washington should not use Pyongyang's missile launches "as an excuse to escalate the situation."
From Feb. 21 to March 4, the KPA conducted several rocket-launching drills. Seven short-range projectiles were fired on Tuesday, one day after two short-range ballistic missiles were launched on its east coast.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Monday that the DPRK seemingly sought to raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula by firing missiles when South Korea and the United States were conducting their annual military drills.
The two allies began their annual joint war games despite the DPRK's demand for a delay or cancellation of the drills. The "Key Resolve" and the "Foal Eagle" exercises started on Feb. 24, with the participation of 12,700 U.S. soldiers, including more than 6,000 from overseas bases.
The arrival of a nuclear-powered U.S. submarine on Monday morning in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan irritated the DPRK, which denounced the joint drills as a rehearsal for a northward invasion.
"We are not expecting to be recognized (as a nuclear state), for it is a fact no matter you admit or not," said the KPA spokesman.