Nuclear war 'closer' with US drills near Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang's media warn
The US activities in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula – namely, US strategic bomber joint flights with South Korean and Japanese forces – may see the two Koreas end up in a nuclear war, the North Korean state agency KCNA has said.
According to Pyongyang, the US forces are carrying out “a nuclear bomb dropping drill against major objects” in its territory at the moment when US President Donald Trump as well as “other US warmongers are crying out for making a pre-emptive nuclear strike” against the North.
“The reckless military provocation is pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula closer to the brink of nuclear war,” KCNA wrote, as cited by Reuters.
Seoul defended the drills, saying the war games were held to prevent provocations from the North, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun.
The flight of the two supersonic B-1B bombers occurred on Monday, on the same day as Trump said he would be ready to meet with Kim Jong-un.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump told Bloomberg News.
However, the White House was more reluctant to see the meeting in any near future, with spokesman Sean Spicer saying, “Clearly conditions are not there right now. I don't see this happening anytime soon.”
Tensions have been escalating over the past weeks, with Trump saying on Thursday that “a major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible, and China warning that the situation on the peninsula could spiral out of control.
On Saturday, the North test-launched a missile, and it marked the latest in a series of missile-related activities, as well as two alleged nuclear tests, showing an unprecedented pace of such steps since the beginning of this year.