President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 30, 2018. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- North Korea has strongly denounced U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address last week, which slammed the regime's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" and its rampant human rights abuses.
In an interview that aired Sunday on the North's state-run KCNA, a foreign ministry spokesman claimed the U.S. leader's remarks to Congress had been "the height of dogmatism and arrogance."
During his speech on Tuesday evening, Trump highlighted the nuclear threat posed by the North to the U.S. and its allies, and the "depraved character" of the regime, recounting the story of American college student Otto Warmbier who died after more than a year of captivity in the North and introducing North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho.
The president vowed a continued campaign of maximum pressure on Pyongyang.
"Trump slandering our social system and rambling on about applying maximum pressure on us is simply a cry of frightened person in the face our national power... and the historic achievement of completing our nuclear prowess," the North Korean spokesman said.
He went onto say that the North's "self-defense force centered on nuclear power" would "thoroughly suppress the temerity of Trump and his subordinates on the peninsula."
Without the U.S. president "discarding his anachronistic and self-righteous way of thinking, America's security and its future will only grow more perilous," he said.
The state-run media also published a commentary on Sunday, criticizing Washington's measures to pile pressure on the North, such as additional U.S. sanctions on the regime and the deployment of strategic military assets to South Korea.
"It is clear evidence that it is in a frenzy, trying to spoil the atmosphere of improved North-South relations, which was created through our proactive measures and active role," it said.
Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang are expected to mount as the North prepares to hold a massive military parade this week, mobilizing thousands of troops and hundreds of weaponry, to commemorate the founding of its army on Feb 8.