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Tags: Koreas | Tensions

N Korea Vows Stronger Attack Capabilities over Allied Drills

N Korea Vows Stronger Attack Capabilities over Allied Drills

Monday, 09 August 2021 09:00 PM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ripped South Korea for proceeding with military exercises with the United States she claimed are an invasion rehearsal and warned Tuesday that the North will work faster to strengthen its preemptive strike capabilities.

Kim Yo Jong’s statement came after South Korean media reported the allied militaries will begin four days of preliminary training on Tuesday before holding computer-simulated drills on Aug. 16-26.

Kim said she was delegated authority to release the statement, implying the message came directly from her brother.

She described the South’s decision to hold joint exercises despite earlier warnings by the North as “perfidious behavior” that will push the allies into facing a “more serious security threat.”

She said continuing the drills exposed the hypocrisy of the Biden administration’s offers to resume dialogue over the North’s nuclear weapons program. She said there won’t be stabilized peace on the Korean Peninsula unless the United States withdraws its troops and weapons in the South.

Kim said the North will “put more spur to further increasing the deterrent of absolute capacity to cope with the ever-growing military threats from the U.S.,” including its capabilities for national defense and “powerful” preemptive strikes for "rapidly countering any military actions against us.”

“(The drills) are the most vivid expression of the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK, designed to stifle our state by force, and an unwelcoming act of self-destruction for which a dear price should be paid as they threaten the safety of our people and further imperil the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Kim said, using the initials of the country's formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“For peace to settle on the peninsula, it is imperative for the U.S. to withdraw its aggression troops and war hardware deployed in (South) Korea. As long as the U.S. forces stay in (South) Korea, the root cause for the periodic aggravation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula will never vanish.”

North Korea’s angry reaction to the drills further diminishes South Korean hopes for improving bilateral ties, which rose after the North agreed to reopen long-stalled communication channels with the South in late July.

But just days after the lines were restored, Kim warned that the planned military drills between South Korea and the United States will undermine prospects for better inter-Korean ties.

Some analysts say the North’s decision to restore the communication lines was mainly aimed at pushing Seoul to convince Washington to make concessions while nuclear diplomacy remains deadlocked.

The United States keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. The allies have yet to officially announce the details of this month’s drills.

The North has long bristled at the joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, which the allies describe as defensive in nature, and often responds them with its own weapons tests.

In the past few years, however, South Korea and the United States have canceled or downsized some of their training to support the now-dormant diplomacy on ending the North Korean nuclear crisis or because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inter-Korean ties flourished after North Korea reached out to South Korea and the Trump administration in 2018 for talks on its nuclear program. North Korea later cut off ties with South Korea following the collapse of the second summit between Kim Jong Un and former President Donald Trump in 2019 over disagreements in exchanging the release of crippling U.S.—led sanctions against the North and the North’s denuclearization steps.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ripped South Korea for proceeding with military exercises with the United States she claimed are an invasion rehearsal and warned Tuesday that the North will work faster to strengthen its preemptive strike capabilities....
Koreas,Tensions
602
2021-00-09
Monday, 09 August 2021 09:00 PM
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