North Korea slammed the US and South Korea over their military exercises, warning that the situation around Korean Peninsula is entering a “serious confrontation phase of power due to ceaseless and reckless military moves” by Washington and Seoul.
Pyongyang charged Washington with being a “chief culprit in destroying peace and security,” calling South Korea a “vassal force.”
“The US is trying to shift the responsibility for the escalated tensions onto the DPRK after making it take a countermeasure by getting on its nerves militarily under the signboard of ‘annual’ and ‘defensive’ exercises. But such scheme can no longer work to conceal its true colors as the chief culprit in destroying peace and security,” said North Korea’s Foreign Ministry late on Monday night.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.
Pyongyang’s response came after the US and South Korean forces Monday resumed their largest-ever five-day joint air drills, amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Such military exercises were halted four years ago to give inter-Korean reconciliation a chance.
“The US, the one and only country in the world which sets it as the main target of nuclear strategy to ‘topple the government’ of a sovereign state, must be prepared for paying an equal price for its attempt to use military force against the DPRK,” Pyongyang said.
It added that North was “ready to take all necessary measures for defending its sovereignty, people’s security and territorial integrity from outside military threats.”
“If the US continuously persists in the grave military provocations, the DPRK will take into account more powerful follow-up measures,” it said, urging Washington to “stop the useless and ineffective war exercises at once.”
“If not, it will have to totally take the blame for all the consequences.”
Some 240 aircraft are taking part in the joint US-South Korea exercises.
Seoul has deployed some 140 planes, including F-35A stealth fighters, and F-15K and KF-16 jets, while the US also dispatched about 100 assets, including F-35B stealth fighters based in Okinawa, Japan, and EA-18 electronic warfare aircraft, as well as KC-135 tankers and the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.
“The Korean Peninsula remains the hotspot with the most serious military tensions in the world and the security circumstances in the region have become grimmer,” said Pyongyang.
This time the Australian air force is also taking part in the joint US-South Korea exercises.
Seoul fears that North Korea could also show its might by carrying out missile tests during their combined exercises.
– Tensions on Korean Peninsula
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen further following recent military drills by South Korea, and the US as well as North Korean missile tests.
On Friday, Pyongyang launched another “unspecified” ballistic missile just as South Korea was about to wrap up its annual 12-day Hoguk field training exercise, local media reported, citing a military statement.
North Korea recently fired a short-range ballistic missile into the East Sea, just two days after launching two long-range strategic cruise missiles involving units operating “tactical nukes.”
On Oct. 4, the US and South Korean forces held live-fire joint drills after North Korea fired a missile over Japan for the first time in five years.
Tensions in the region began in 2020 when North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border. Seoul has threatened a strong response if Pyongyang “further worsens the situation.”
Pyongyang said the joint military exercises “have the more clear aggressive nature than any other ones everywhere else of the world in terms of the period, scale, contents and density.”
“All the facts clearly show that the US nuclear war scenario against the DPRK has entered the final stage.
“For the US to describe the DPRK’s self-defensive military counteraction as an act of escalating the tensions is very absurd and this is just like a guilty party filing the suit first,” it added.