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N.Korea: US flew 2,100 spy flights this year
Updated: 2004-12-18 17:15

North Korea on Saturday said the U.S. military increased espionage flights over its territory and deployed weaponry in South Korea this year, allegedly to prepare for a nuclear war against the communist state.

The "U.S. imperialists" committed at least 2,100 cases of aerial espionage from January through November with reconnaissance planes, KCNA, the North's official news agency, reported.

U.S. forces also sent new tanks and war planes to South Korea for exercises and deployed Patriot air defense missile systems, the report said.

"All these facts go to clearly prove that the U.S. loudmouthed 'six-party talks' and 'negotiated settlement of the nuclear issue' are nothing but a window-dressing to cover up its bellicose nature and it is, in actuality, stepping up its preparations for a nuclear war against the (North)," it said.

North Korea regularly makes such accusations.

The U.S. military does not comment on North Korean claims on spy flights, although it acknowledges monitoring North Korean military activity. It says any deployment of U.S. weapons in South Korea was to defend the South, rather than invade the North.

The United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia have held three rounds of six-party talks since last year to find a way to end North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. But no breakthroughs were reported.

Washington keeps 34,000 American troops in South Korea a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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