The US, UK and Australian partnership has been considering adding Japan and South Korea as partners FILE PHOTO. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on AUKUS Partnership in San Diego, California. © Getty Images / Tayfun Coskun; Anadolu Agency

Plans by AUKUS to work with countries such as Japan and South Korea would turn the Asia-Pacific region into a “touch-and-go nuclear minefield,” North Korean international affairs analyst Kang Jin Song has warned in an article published on Thursday by state news agency KCNA.

His comments come after the defense chiefs of the US, UK and Australia issued a statement earlier this month announcing that they were considering cooperation with Japan on advanced military technology for the trilateral security pact. The group is also considering the addition of South Korea, Canada and New Zealand as potential partners.

Kang blasted Washington’s plans to add more crew members to the “confrontation ship called AUKUS” as “sinister,” and stated that the goal of the group was to “push the nuclear minefield in the Asia-Pacific region closer to China.”

“This is mainly aimed at building double and triple infrastructure for implementing the integrated deterrence strategy against China by ultimately putting together tools designed for achieving supremacy existing in the Asia-Pacific region in a latticed way,” Kang wrote.

The analyst called on the “peace camp in the region and the rest of the world” to “heighten vigilance against the reckless moves of Washington to frantically expand its alliance sphere without limits, targeting a central state.”

AUKUS was originally established in 2021 between the US, the UK and Australia under the guise of technology sharing. The three nations have insisted that the partnership is not a formal military alliance. Under the pact’s so-called ‘Pillar 1’, Washington and London have pledged to help Canberra obtain nuclear-powered submarines.

‘Pillar 2’ of the agreement provides for broader technology-sharing between the pact members and can potentially involve other countries.

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On April 8, the AUKUS members released a joint statement, announcing that the group was officially considering cooperation with Japan on Pillar 2 advanced capability projects, but said they would not be extending official membership to Tokyo just yet.

China has condemned the project as an attempt to build an “Asia-Pacific version of NATO,” and has warned that AUKUS could kick off an “arms race” in the region, calling on the international community to address the nuclear “proliferation risks” posed by the group.

Other South Asian countries have also criticized the pact, with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickermensinghe stating last year that AUKUS was a “strategic misstep” and a “military alliance” aimed against China, which would only divide Asia into rival camps and destabilize the region. (RT)