Pyongyang accused Washington and Seoul of continued military provocations despite repeated warnings
North Korea has warned of one “realistic” threat of nuclear conflict after the latest round of US and South Korean military exercises, and predicted a “catastrophic escalation” in the region.
North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Tuesday denouncing the recent joint air exercises between Washington and Seoul, which involved at least one U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 bomber, and said the exercises risk of conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
“The irresponsible actions of the United States and South Korea, which focus only on belligerent armed demonstrations thick with gunpowder, contrary to the international community’s desire for tension relief and political stability, are shifting the risk of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. from an imaginary stage to a realistic stage, said the ministry, adding that the exercises “clearly” show that the US is preparing for a war with the DPRK.
Similar joint combat exercises were also launched last Friday, including a US B-1B strategic bomber, while another exercise will be held next week to simulate the response of the US and South Korea to a missile strike by the DPRK. In addition, starting March 13, the two allies will conduct the largest exercises in the region in five years, which will last 11 days.
“The large-scale joint military exercise between the US and South Korea starting in a few days” being of one “aggressive nature”, the ministry went further, then predicted a “a catastrophic escalation that will result.”
While negotiations under former US President Donald Trump resulted in a “freeze for freeze” arrangement that suspended joint exercises with South Korea in exchange for a halt to weapons testing in Pyongyang, that deal has since collapsed, with tensions rising. have increased since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. Last year saw a record number of North Korean missile launches, including several intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), as well as a flurry of US and South Korean military activity, which the DPRK has repeatedly condemned in preparation for an attack on the north. Missile testing continued into 2023, with North Korea continuing to fire projectiles into the sea during ongoing exercises through Washington and Seoul.
North Korea warns of ‘overwhelming’ reactions