NEWS

North Korea Warns — U.S. Annual War Game On The Peninsula Could Spell Trouble

Photo Credit: Stefan Krasowski

Don’t do it; North Korea seems to be saying after warning on Sunday that the United States could be “pouring gasoline on fire” by conducting an annual war game in the South next week amid heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

The North latest warning comes amidst hostile utterances by both U.S. President Donald Trump and the North strong man, Kim Jong-Un two weeks ago.

Pyongyang in its race to include nuclear weapon as part of its war chest tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) last month and threatened to fire missiles towards Guam – a U.S. territory.

The missile test provoked President Donald Trump to warn that the U.S. would rain “fire and fury” on North Korea if Kim Jung-Un carried out his threat.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump warned.

He further added, that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

Now, with Seoul and Washington set to begin on Monday the “Ulchi Freedom Guardian” (UFG) joint military exercises which involve tens of thousands of troops, Pyongyang has declared the move as a provocative rehearsal for invasion.

“The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won’t evolve into actual fighting,” said an editorial carried by the North’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.

“The Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises will be like pouring gasoline on fire and worsen the state of the peninsula,” the paper said.

Warning of an “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war” on the peninsula, it added: “If the United States is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else’s doorstep far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever.”

Seoul and Washington have said the largely computer-simulated UFG exercise, which started in 1976, will go forward as planned but did not indicate whether the drills would be scaled back to ease tensions.

South Korea’s top military officer said Sunday that the current security situation on the peninsula was “more serious than at any other time” amid the North’s growing nuclear and missile threats, and warned Pyongyang of merciless retaliation against any attack.

“If the enemy provokes, (our military) will retaliate resolutely and strongly to make it regret bitterly,” said General Jeong Kyeong-Doo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his inauguration speech.

 Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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