North Korea warns that the U.S.-South Korean joint military drills on the peninsula may trigger an war that will ultimately end in a “nuclear disaster.”
The annual Foal Eagle exercises, which the North refers to as “the most undisguised nuclear war maneuvers,” began last week. In response to the drills, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan during a training exercise intended as a show of force and preparation for a ycoming conflict.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the Korean People’s Army (KPA) units involved in the launch were “tasked to strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor.”
“In the hearts of artillerymen … there was burning desire to mercilessly retaliate against the warmongers going ahead with their joint war exercises,” KCNA said in a separate article.
As condemnation rained down on North Korea during a 90-minute session at the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Tuesday, Ju Yong Choi, a North Korean diplomat, warned that the drills on the peninsula were “a major cause of escalation of tension that might turn into actual war.”
“The ongoing joint military exercise is carried out with massive mobilization of troops, unprecedented in size, and various types of U.S. strategic forces including nuclear carriers, nuclear strategic bombers and stealth fighters,” Ju asserted, “It will certainly jeopardize peace and stability in the region and drive the situation in the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.”
Robert Wood, the U.S. disarmament ambassador, called North Korea a “pariah.”
“It should be very clear to the DPRK that it is a pariah, it is an outlier, it is in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and that the countries represented in this room are not going to stand by and just let the DPRK violate international law.”
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Ja Song-nam, North Korea’s U.N. ambassador, claimed that the situation on the peninsula is moving towards a “nuclear disaster.”
“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is again inching to the brink of a nuclear war,” he explained.
The U.S. deployed the first elements of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea Tuesday, which is likely to raise tensions further as North Korea has expressed its opposition to the missile shield many times in the past.
“It is the unwavering will of our army to deal a ruthless retaliatory strike and turn the South into a sea of fire and ashes,” North Korea said in July. “If THAAD is deployed in South Korea,” Pyongyang stressed a few months later, “It will be exposed to nuclear strikes here and there as the primary target.”
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