North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has blamed the U.S. for the peninsula's tensions and accused South Korea of hypocrisy, state media reported Tuesday.
According to the official Korean Central News Agency, he claimed in an address to the "Self-Defense 2021" display that the U.S. is the "root cause" of instability.
Kim's speech comes after the North tested a long-range cruise missile and what it claimed was a hypersonic weapon in recent weeks.
Kim became the first North Korean leader ever to meet a sitting U.S. president at the headline-grabbing Singapore summit in 2018.
However, the negotiations have essentially stalled since a second meeting in Hanoi the following year collapsed over sanctions relief and what Pyongyang is willing to give up in exchange.
North Korea is subject to a slew of international sanctions for its prohibited nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, both of which have advanced rapidly under Kim.
In 2017, it tested missiles capable of reaching the entire continental U.S. and conducted by far its most powerful nuclear explosion to date, and Pyongyang claims it requires its arsenal to defend itself against a U.S. invasion.
The Biden administration has claimed numerous times that it has no hostile intentions toward the North.
"I am very curious if there are people or countries who believe that," Kim said in response.
Seoul and Washington are security allies, with Washington stationing roughly 28,500 troops in the South to defend it against its neighbor, invaded in 1950.
In August, the South and the U.S. conducted joint military exercises. North Korea is constantly enraged by the wargames, which it dismisses as invasion rehearsals.
Seoul is embarking on a multibillion-dollar military modernization program, having successfully tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in September, putting it among an elite group of countries with proven SLBM capability, and revealing a supersonic cruise missile.
With only a few months left in office for the South's pro-engagement President Moon Jae-in, Pyongyang and Seoul reconnected their cross-border hotline this week in a show of easing ties.
Kim, however, accused Seoul of "reckless ambition" and a "two-faced, illogical" mentality.
Their "unrestricted and dangerous attempts to strengthen military power are destroying the military balance on the Korean peninsula and increasing military instability and danger", he added.