North Korea condemns Europe for helicopter sales

SEOUL, June 27 (UPI) — North Korea slammed Europe on Monday, calling the export of Anglo-Italian helicopters to the Korean peninsula an “open challenge to human aspirations.”

AgustaWestland’s Wildcat maritime helicopters, selected for deployment by the South Korean navy in 2013, have been sent to South Korea because Europe considers the South a “good market for arms sales,” Pyongyang’s state-controlled KCNA said Monday.

“[Europe] doesn’t concern itself with the acute situation on the Korean peninsula, but rather preoccupies itself with filling its own pockets,” North Korea said in its statement.

AgustaWestland is a helicopter design and manufacturing company formed in 2000 as a private Anglo-Italian multinational corporation.

Pyongyang also said the United States and South Korean authorities were plotting a “war provocation scheme” and for this reason a “thermal nuclear war” threatens the country.

North Korea also suggested Europe doesn’t take an interest in peace on the peninsula.

“Europe may say so well in words it desires peace on the peninsula, but it sells all kinds of war equipment to South Korean lunatics while taking care of its own interests,” KCNA said in its statement, warning Europe against hypocrisy.

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Agency said Monday four recently purchased Wildcat helicopters, to be used toward anti-submarine warfare, are to be deployed in 2017, Yonhap reported.

DAPA said the helicopters had undergone a series of qualification and acceptance tests in three stages.

The helicopters are to be mounted on frigates or naval destroyers, and are to be used in search and rescue activities.

The Wildcat includes a low-frequency dipping sonar system that allows it to detect and track submarines.

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