Pyongyang calls joint military exercises ‘unwelcoming act of self-destruction’
ANKARA (AA) – North Korea on Wednesday warned the US and South Korea of a possible security crisis over their joint military drills.
In a statement, Kim Yo Jong, vice-department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said Washington and Seoul are holding the joint military exercises despite their repeated warnings which will surely make them face a more serious security threat.
“They are the most vivid expression of the US hostile policy towards the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], designed to stifle our state by force, and an unwelcoming act of self-destruction for which a dear price should be paid as they threaten the safety of our people and further imperil the situation on the Korean peninsula,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement published by state-run Korean Central News Agency.
“The dangerous war exercises pushed ahead by the US and the South Korean side disregardful of our repeated warnings will surely make them face more serious security threat,” he warned.
His statement came just a day after the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticized Seoul and Washington as they kicked off a preliminary training Tuesday ahead of next week’s main exercise from Aug. 16 to 26.
The North Korean official warned that Pyongyang could move to bolster its nuclear and conventional weapons program to contain an external threat to their country.
“The reality proves that only substantial deterrent, not words, can ensure the peace and security of the Korean peninsula, and that it is a vital requirement for us to build up the force powerful enough to fully contain the external threats to us,” the official said.
On Monday, South Korea said its joint military exercises with the US are “purely defensive.”
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said: “We believe that most of the international community fully understands that the South Korea-US combined exercises are an annually-held and defensive exercise and therefore, it does not pose a threat to any particular country, including North Korea.”
Earlier on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said that the upcoming military exercise between South Korea and the US is not “constructive” and called on Washington to avoid any action that would cause tension with the North.
Last month, the two countries restored cross-border communication lines that were cut off by Pyongyang last June.
North Korea severed communication with South Korea and also blew up an inter-Korean liaison office along the border in June 2020.