Korean Peninsula on ‘brink of explosion’ – Pyongyang
Washington’s joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan are pushing the region closer to an armed conflict, North Korea said on Friday. The warning comes as the US and Seoul prepare to conduct their largest-ever drills.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the situation on the Korean Peninsula was “on the brink of explosion,” describing the US-led wargames as taking on a “more undisguised and dangerous nature.”
The agency said Pyongyang views the exercises designed to simulate a “war scenario” as a threat to its security. “[An] exercise for ‘annihilating’ a nuclear power is just sheer bul**it,” KCNA said, referring to the North Korean strategic arsenal.
“It is a legitimate right of a sovereign country to equip itself with more powerful self-defensive means in order to cope with the prevailing grave situation and prospective threats,” the agency said, warning that Washington and Seoul would “face corresponding responses.”
Next week, the US and South Korea will launch their largest-ever combined live-fire exercise to mark the 70th anniversary of their alliance and the 75th anniversary of South Korea’s Armed Forces. Divided into five phases, the drill will take place between May 25 and June 15. It will involve F-35A fighter jets and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, as well as tanks and multiple rocket launchers, according to Seoul-based news agency Yonhap.
The US insists that such exercises demonstrate Washington’s commitment to defend its ally from a potential North Korean attack.