The North Korean Government released a statement on Monday condemning the U.S. and South Korea for announcing plans to install a missile defense system in the south, Reuters reports.
On Friday, Seoul and Washington released their plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea to help combat growing threats from the North.
[dcquiz] According to the statement, North Korea’s military, which has “sufficient latest offensive strike means,” will take “more merciless and powerful successive corresponding measures against the US keen to ignite a war by deploying THAAD.”
The U.S. announced its decision to deploy THAAD just hours after an angry response from Pyongyang regarding sanctions against Kim Jong Un and other North Korean leaders for human rights abuses, an action the Foreign Ministry said was tantamount to an act of war.
“The Republic will handle all matters arising between us and the United States from now on under our wartime laws, and the matters of Americans detained are no exception to this.” KCNA, the government-run news agency in North Korea said.
There are currently two Americans being detained in North Korea, and it is unknown how their treatment under “wartime laws” might change. According to Reuters, however, North Korea has indicated in the past that wartime laws would mean that detainees will not be released on humanitarian grounds.
North Korea was not the only country to express anger regarding the anti-missile system, however, with China also releasing statements condemning the buff to South Korea’s defensive capability.
“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute objection to this,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
The South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, argued that China’s worry was unwarranted.
“I’m certain the international community knows full well that we have no intention whatsoever to target any other country or threaten them,” he said in a meeting with other South Korean officials.