North Korea warns of “offensive action” on allied exercises

North Korea threatened unspecified “offensive action” over the expansion of US military exercises with rival South Korea as President Joe Biden’s special representative for North Korea flew to Seoul for talks with allies about the growing nuclear threat from the North.

The North Korean comments came a day after the United States flew nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Korean peninsula for joint air exercises with South Korean fighter jets in its latest show of force against South Korea. North, which presents allied exercises as invasion rehearsals.

Animosity has risen in recent weeks as the pace of US-South Korean military exercises and North Korean weapons demonstrations has increased in a tit-for-tat cycle.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the US and South Korean military exercises and the deployment of advanced US military assets have turned the Korean Peninsula into a “huge tinderbox, which can be detonated at any time.

“The military provocations of the US-led warmongers have gone beyond the limit of tolerance. This reality awaits a more explicit position and response from (North Korea’s) defense capabilities,” KCNA said in a comment attributed to an academic.

“(North Korea’s) war deterrence will continue to show its responsibility and confidence in its crucial mission through offensive action.”

KCNA’s comment came as Sung Kim, the US special representative to North Korea, arrived in Seoul for talks with South Korean and Japanese officials to coordinate their response to North Korea’s escalating weapons development and threats of nuclear conflict.

Following meetings with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and other South Korean officials on Thursday, Kim will take part in a tripartite meeting with South Korean and Japanese nuclear envoys on Friday, according to the ministry. of Foreign Affairs of South Korea.

On Thursday, Kim met separately with Jin and South Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, Kim Gunn, where they discussed strengthening joint defense postures and inducing more international efforts to crack down on North Korea’s illicit activities. who finance their weapons program.

South Korea USA
In March alone, North Korea fired nearly 20 missiles in seven different launch events (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

During their meeting, Kim and Gunn stressed the need to encourage countries to strengthen the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea, including the requirement to repatriate North Korean workers sent abroad, considering the possibility that North Korea reopened its borders as Covid-19. 19 fears ease.

They also discussed seeking an active role for China, North Korea’s key ally and economic lifeline, in persuading Pyongyang to halt its weapons shows and return to denuclearization talks, according to the South Korean Foreign Ministry. .

Kim and Gunn plan to participate in a three-way meeting with Japanese nuclear envoy Takehiro Funakoshi in Seoul on Friday.

In March alone, North Korea fired nearly 20 missiles in seven different launch events, including an ICBM that demonstrated potential range to reach the mainland US and several shorter-range weapons designed to launch nuclear strikes against South Korean targets.


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