Posted: 22 June 2009 0202 hrs

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il inspects the command of 7th Infantry Division of the Korean People's Army at an undisclosed location.

SEOUL: North Korea has accused US President Barack Obama of plotting a nuclear war on the communist nation by reaffirming a US assurance of security for South Korea, the North's state media said.

In a first official response to last week's US-South Korean summit, the state-run weekly Tongil Sinbo said in its Saturday edition Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak "are trying to ignite a nuclear war".

"The US-touted provision of 'extended deterrence, including a nuclear umbrella' (for South Korea) is nothing but 'a nuclear war plan,'" Tongil Sinbo said.

It said it wasn't a coincidence that the United States has brought "nuclear equipment into South Korea and its surroundings and staged massive war drills every day to look for a chance to invade North Korea."

Pyongyang has created weeks of tension by conducting a second nuclear test and test-firing missiles.

At a summit with Lee in Washington Wednesday, Obama warned that North Korea is a "grave threat" and vowed to defend South Korea.

A Seoul presidential official told Yonhap news agency Lee would seek a written US commitment to provide a nuclear "umbrella" for Seoul as part of "extended deterrence" against Pyongyang.

North Korea detonated its second nuclear device on May 25, following the first one in 2006. It also went ahead with what Washington said was a disguised test of a long-range missile in April.

The United Nations Security Council in response agreed to tighter cargo inspections, a stricter arms embargo and new targeted financial curbs to choke off revenue for the North's nuclear and missile sectors.

In response Pyongyang has vowed to build more nuclear bombs and start enriching uranium for a new atomic weapons program.

Some analysts say the sabre-rattling is part of an attempt by 67-year-old ailing North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il, to bolster a succession plan involving his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un. - AFP/de

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