SEOUL - North Korea said today the United States conducted at least 180 espionage flights in October, adding the missions hurt the chances for a settlement in talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs.
North Korea, which says it has nuclear weapons, regularly accuses the United States of flying spy planes such as the U-2 to photograph strategic targets from the near the fortified Demilitarised Zone that divides the Korean peninsula.
"These aerial espionage flights clearly prove that the US imperialists are desperately trying to stifle the DPRK militarily behind the scene though they are giving lip-service to the negotiated settlement of the nuclear issue," the North's official KCNA news agency reported.
DPRK is short for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Officials from US Forces Korea were not immediately available for comment.
Last month at the six-party talks in Beijing, North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear programs in exchange for economic assistance, security guarantees and greater diplomatic recognition.
The next round of the talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States is likely to take place next week.
North Korea has attached numerous conditions to implementing a deal, including demanding a civilian nuclear reactor up front before it scraps its atomic weapons programs.
Washington and others said such conditions were not part of the deal reached in Beijing.