Sept. 16 (UPI) -- North Korea state media is condemning Seoul for a recent defense budget hike, calling the move "yet another military provocation."
Pyongyang propaganda service DPRK Today said Wednesday the South Korean decision to spend more on troops and weapons development raises tensions on the peninsula and could lead to an arms race.
"Whoever enjoys fire will be burned by fire," state media said in a warning to the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
"South Korean authorities should keep in mind that a reckless arms buildup is a self-defeating act of digging one's own grave," DPRK Today stated. "It will drive South Korea into a terrible disaster."
North Korean state media claimed South Korea is spending an "astronomical sum of money" on fighter jets, warships and rockets.
"Is this for the reconciliation of a unitary Korean people?"
South Korea has submitted a new defense budget for the next fiscal year, which reflects a 5.5% increase to $45.1 billion. The budget has been submitted to the National Assembly, Yonhap reported Wednesday.
The North Korean statement on South Korean military spending also claimed Moon's government is no different from previous conservative administrations under former Presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak.
Seoul's military policy "exposes the deception" of South Korea's "cries for peace."
North Korea could be nervous about the South's growing military power. South Korea is one of the 10 most powerful militaries in the world in 2020, ranking No. 6 behind the United States, Russia, China, India and Japan, according to Global Firepower's index. North Korea ranks No. 25.
North Korea's Kim Jong Un boasted of his military capabilities during meetings with U.S. officials, according to excerpts from journalist Bob Woodward's book new Rage.
Kim suggested the South's military is no match for the North Koreans. The passage was dismissed in Seoul on Wednesday during a personnel hearing for Suh Wook, Seoul's defense minister nominee, according to Newsis.