Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —
North Korea is angry because the United States and South Korea are still holding out a joint war simulation on the Korean Peninsula on Thursday (2/2) even though Pyongyang has repeatedly opposed it.
North Korea’s foreign ministry said the hostile US-South action had pushed tensions to the extreme. Pyongyang has also threatened to turn the Korean Peninsula into a “more critical war zone with more weapons”.
“The military and political situation on the Korean peninsula and in the region has reached extreme limits due to the reckless maneuvers of military confrontation and the hostile actions of the US and its subordinate forces,” an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in remarks carried by state media KCNA.
“This is a clear response to the dangerous US scenario that will turn the Korean Peninsula into a major war zone and a more critical war zone fully armed,” he said.
The US and South Korea held joint military air drills involving B-1B bombers and F-22 and F-35 fighters on Thursday morning.
South Korea said in a statement that the exercise was aimed at promoting interoperability between militaries and was an effective demonstration of the alliance’s capabilities in dealing with North Korean threats. The military drills also took place two days after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s visit to Seoul.
Austin and the South Korean Defense Minister promised to expand the two countries’ military drills and deploy more “strategic assets”, such as aircraft carriers and long-range bombers, to counter North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missile technology.
“North Korea will respond to any military maneuvers by the United States, and has a strong deterrence strategy, including the most powerful nuclear force if necessary,” the statement added.
More than 28,500 American troops are based in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-1953 Korean War. The deployment of US troops was carried out because the Korean War only ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
So technically, North and South Korea are still at war.
The Korean Peninsula has recently returned to tension after North Korea conducted another series of ballistic missile tests. Pyongyang may even be reportedly preparing for a new nuclear test in the near future.
Source: CNN Indonesia