North Korea vows to take action over U.S., South Korea drills

Kim Jong-un

North Korea President, Kim Jong-Un

North Korea’s military has vowed to take sustained, resolute and overwhelming measures in response to the joint United States (U.S.) and South Korean military air exercises.

The Korean People’s Army (KPA) general staff alleged the joint drills were an open provocation aimed at intentionally escalating the tension in the region.

“A dangerous war drill of a very highly aggressive nature directly targeted North Korea.

“The serious situation prevailing on the Korean peninsula due to the reckless military hysteria of the U.S. and South Korea is now moving toward the more unstable confrontation.’’

North Korea’s response is contained in an English-language statement carried by the state news agency, KCNA, on Monday.

The North Korean military conducted its own drills to simulate attacks on air bases and aircraft and smash the enemies’ persistent war hysteria, the KPA said.

It confirmed that it fired dozens of missiles of different types, as well as important test-fire of ballistic missiles.

The missile verifies the movement reliability of a special functional warhead paralysing the operation command system of the enemy.

A drill involving around 500 fighters, where two tactical ballistic missiles and two super-large multiple-launch missiles were fired, also took place, according to the report.

“The more persistently the enemies’ provocative military moves continue, the more thoroughly and mercilessly the KPA will counter them,’’ the report said.

The joint U.S.-South Korea drills ended on Saturday after six days.

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North Korea has been testing missiles at an unusually high frequency since the end of September, in spite of UN resolutions prohibiting the country from testing ballistic missiles of any range.

This included what South Korea believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of several thousand kilometres and capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Observers fear that Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in years was imminent.

The latest activity is seen in South Korea as a reaction to the largest air exercise to be conducted by South Korean and U.S. forces in several years, which took place from Monday to Saturday.

North Korea has accused both countries of reckless military provocation and threatened countermeasures.

The government in Pyongyang has said in its own statements that its recent tests were intended to simulate the firing of tactical nuclear weapons at South Korean airfields.

Meanwhile, the U.S., Japan and South Korean representatives discussed North Korea’s recent escalators and actions in a phone call.

Deputy US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyundong and Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo jointly condemned North Korea’s numerous ballistic missile launches.

This included a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and a missile that landed near the South Korean coastline, a U.S. Department of State readout said.

Sherman reaffirmed U.S. commitments to the defence of South Korea and Japan, and stressed the need for the international community to stand together in holding North Korea accountable.(dpa/NAN) (

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