North Korea continues to issue bluffs and threats against parties deemed inconsistent with the country’s mission, including the United States (US). Pyongyang insists any action aimed at shooting down one of its test missiles will be considered a declaration of war.
State news agency KCNA said Tuesday (7/3), North Korea also blamed joint military exercises between the US and South Korea for fueling tensions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, center, arrives at the Jinbu train station in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Photo: AP)
Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, gave the warning in a statement that Pyongyang would see it as a “declaration of war” if the US took military action against North Korea’s strategic weapons test.
He also hinted that North Korea could launch more missiles into the Pacific Ocean. The US and its allies have never shot down a North Korean ballistic missile, which has been banned by the UN Security Council. However, questions arose following North Korea’s statement that it would fire more missiles at Japan.
“The Pacific Ocean does not belong to the dominium of the US or Japan,” said Kim.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with his wife Ri Sol Ju and their daughter, speak on the launch day of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), November 19, 2022. (Photo: KCNA via reuters)
In a separate statement, the head of the Foreign News Section at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry accused the US of “aggravating” the situation by holding joint air drills with South Korea, especially by showing off a B-52 bomber on Monday (6/3). The two countries will also carry out military exercises on land.
In response, South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, said Pyongyang’s “reckless nuclear and missile development” was to blame for the deteriorating situation.
The US deployed B-52 bombers for joint exercises with South Korean fighter jets. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the drills were a show of strength in countering North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
On Tuesday, US and South Korean warplanes practiced rapid take-off in an exercise designed in response to North Korean threats to destroy airfields, Yonhap news agency reported. [ah/rs]