Ongoing joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea represent acts of aggression against North Korea, a spokesperson for North Korea’s Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) said on Tuesday.
In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the military official said the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises, which began on Monday and will continue until the 31st, are intended to practice an invasion of the DPRK.
“The U.S. will be wholly held accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by such reckless aggressive war maneuvers, as it chose a military confrontation with the DPRK,” the statement read.
With tensions so high on the peninsula, the statement said, it was impossible to know whether or not the drills would lead to “an actual war action.”
“Moreover, high-ranking bosses of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces flew into south Korea to hold a war confab,” the statement added, a reference to an ongoing visit to the South by Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Harry Harris Jr. and commander of U.S. Strategic Command John Hyten.
Samuel A. Greaves, Director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), is also due to visit the South, and head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford was in South Korea last week.
“Such huddle is increasing the gravity of the situation,” the statement in KCNA said today, adding that despite the claims of the Washington and Seoul, UFG represented an “aggressive war scenario to carry out preemptive strike against the DPRK.”
Around 50,000 South Korean soldiers and 17,500 total U.S. service members, with approximately 3,000 coming from abroad, are due to participate in the combined military exercises, which take place every year in August.
North Korea frequently issues threats against the U.S. and South Korea during Ulchi Freedom Guardian and other joint military exercises.
In 2014, DPRK media threatened a nuclear strike in response to UFG, 2015 saw exchanges of fire along the inter-Korean border, and last year saw North Korea test-launch a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), among other things.
This year has seen North Korean state media release a video depicting a missile attack on the U.S. territory of Guam and say that the drills would “aggravate the situation like pouring oil on the flames.”
Featured image: U.S. Air Force
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 392 words of this article.