North Korea warns US of ‘strong’ response to allied exercises

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s foreign ministry criticized the United States for expanding joint military exercises with South Korea, which it said were exercises for potential aggression, and said in response Tuesday that it would be “more “strong follow-up measures,” he warned.

The ministry said in a statement that the United States and South Korea had conducted aerial exercises involving more than 200 fighter jets, including advanced F-35 fighter jets, to help defend their defenses in the face of increased North Korean weapons testing and growing nuclear threats. It was announced when we were strengthening our posture. .

North Korea has launched more than 40 ballistic missiles this year, including intercontinental and intermediate-range ballistic missiles it is developing, accelerating weapons demonstrations at a record pace. Missile fired over JapanNorth Korea has suspended these tests with a graduated nuclear doctrine that permits preemptive nuclear strikes in loosely defined crisis situations.

America and South Korea Large-scale military exercises resumed This year, as part of efforts to create diplomatic space with Pyongyang, and after scaling back or suspending them in previous years because of the pandemic.

The US-South Korean “Vigilant Storm” air force training came after South Korea completed its annual 12-day “Hoguk” field exercise. Officials said an unspecified number of US forces also took part in the exercise.

North Korea’s latest statement came just days after the country Fires two short-range ballistic missiles Extending the barrage of launches from late September into the sea. Some of these launches have been described by North Korea as follows: simulated nuclear attack Targeting South Korea and the United States.

North Korea said the test activity was intended as a warning amid joint military exercises. He also used it as an opportunity to increase his influence in future deals with Washington and Seoul.

A North Korean foreign ministry statement said in comments by an unidentified spokesperson that the military drills had exposed the United States as a “principal culprit in destroying peace and security.” North Korea said it was ready to take “all necessary measures” to defend itself against external military threats.

Using North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the spokesman said, “If the United States continues to persist in serious military provocations, North Korea will consider stronger follow-up measures.” Let’s go,” he said. The statement does not specify what those measures are.

A South Korean official said North Korea could raise the stakes in the coming weeks by detonating its first nuclear test device since September 2017. Allies and the US mainland.

In recent weeks, North Korea has also fired hundreds of artillery shells at the North-South Sea Buffer Zone, which the two sides established in 2018 to ease military tensions on the front line. North Korea said the firing was a response to South Korea’s live-fire drills in the border area. Rival South Korea exchanged warning shots along the disputed western sea border on Oct. 24, accusing each other of violating the border, a scene of past bloodshed and naval battles.