North Korea threatens unprecedented response to South American military exercises

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea threatened Friday with “unprecedented” forceful action against its rivals. North Korea’s Growing Nuclear Threat.

North Korea, which launched more than 70 missiles in 2022, has halted weapons testing activities since launching a short-range missile on January 1. Friday’s warning suggested North Korea’s tests could soon resume over rival military drills it sees as rehearsals for aggression.

“If the United States and South Korea (North Korea), with legitimate concern and reason, carry out plans for previously announced military exercises that they deem preparations for a war of aggression, they will face an unprecedented, sustained and powerful counterattack. We will face it,” North Korea said. South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement conveyed by state media.

The statement accused South Korea and the United States of planning more than 20 military exercises, including the largest field exercise in history. It called South Korea and the US “the biggest criminals who deliberately interfere with regional peace and stability.”

“This predicts that the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region will again plunge into a critical vortex that will increase tensions,” the statement said.

He did not specify which US-South Korean military exercises he was referring to. But North Korea has typically condemned all major regular military exercises between Washington and Seoul as a practice to launch an invasion, and has responded with its own weapons tests.

Some experts say North Korea used various South Korea-US exercises as an opportunity to test and perfect its weapons systems. They say North Korea will eventually use its expanded nuclear arsenal to seek international recognition as a legitimate nuclear power and win sanctions relief and other concessions.

Saul and Washington said their training was defensive in nature.

Earlier on Friday, South Korea’s undersecretary for defense policy, Huh Tae-geun, told lawmakers that Seoul and Washington would hold their annual joint computer-simulation exercise in mid-March. Heo said the 11-day exercise reflected unspecified lessons from North Korea as well as the North Korean nuclear threat. Russian-Ukrainian War.

Heo said the two countries will also hold joint field exercises in mid-March, larger than those held in previous years.

The allies had scaled back or canceled some of their routine exercises in recent years to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and to support currently dormant diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear program.

Earlier on Friday, South Korea and the United States will hold a day-long tabletop exercise next week at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, to strengthen their response to North Korea’s potential use of nuclear weapons, Seoul officials said. Stated. The exercises scheduled for Wednesday will set up scenarios where North Korea might use its nuclear weapons, explore ways to militarily respond to them, and formulate contingency plans, South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement. Stated.

Seoul’s security concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program deepened after North Korea last year adopted a law allowing first-use of its nuclear weapons and conducted a nuclear test. A nuclear-capable missile that puts South Korea within range.

In response to the growing threat from North Korea, South Korea and the United States have expanded joint military exercises to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. In January, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the United States increase deployment of advanced weapons Such as fighters and bombers to the Korean Peninsula.

At their annual meeting in November, Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sul agreed to hold annual tabletop exercises to further strengthen alliance intelligence sharing and joint planning and execution. Austin repeatedly warned against any nuclear attack. An attack on the United States or its allies would spell the end of the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.