DECEMBER 9, 2022
USA News

North Korea Criticizes U.S.-South Korea Military Drills as Threat to Regional Security

North Korea Criticizes U.S.-South Korea Military Drills as Threat to Regional Security

North Korea has condemned the joint military exercises conducted by the United States and South Korea, warning that they are pushing the regional security environment into a dangerous state of turmoil.

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, criticized the series of joint live-fire drills during a statement on Wednesday. "We will continue to build overwhelming and the most powerful military power to safeguard our sovereignty, security, and regional peace," she stated, as quoted by KCNA.

This statement from North Korea followed its own nuclear counterattack drills early on Tuesday, where several short-range ballistic missiles were fired towards the sea off its east coast. The move was interpreted as a warning against Washington as it strengthens its regional presence and military alliances with South Korea and Japan.

The joint U.S.-South Korean air drill, which began on April 12 and will continue until April 26, appears to be a primary point of contention for North Korea. According to KCNA, these drills are viewed by Pyongyang as "seriously threatening" and are perceived as rehearsals for a potential invasion.

In response to these perceived threats, North Korea emphasized the need to rapidly strengthen its military capabilities. KCNA stated on Tuesday that North Korea feels "seriously threatened by the hostile forces' ceaseless military provocations," and believes that it must "more overwhelmingly and more rapidly bolster up the strongest military muscle."

Adding to the tensions, North Korea's state news agency reported that Pyongyang has conducted a power test of a new cruise missile equipped with a "super-large warhead." This test follows another launch last week where a "super-large warhead" designed for a strategic cruise missile was tested.

Kim Jong Un has repeatedly stated that North Korea is bolstering its military arsenal in preparation for potential conflict with the West, warning that a war could "break out at any time" on the Korean Peninsula. The recent series of military drills and missile tests underscore the escalating tensions in the region.

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