N. Korea threatens unprecedented response to South-US drill
North Korea has warned of “unprecedented sustained and strong responses” if South Korea and the United States go ahead with planned military exercises, accusing the two allies of escalating tensions in the region.
In a Friday statement carried by state media KCNA, North Korea’s foreign ministry also said it would consider further military action if the US-influenced UN Security Council continues to pressure Pyongyang.
The statement came as South Korea and the United States prepare for annual military exercises as part of efforts to counter North Korea.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the exercises, called the Deterrence Strategy Committee Tabletop Exercise, are scheduled for February 22 at the Pentagon and will be attended by top defense policymakers from both sides.
It would be their first such exercises since the two countries agreed last year to hold them annually.
The South Korean delegation will be led by Deputy Defense Minister Heo Tae-keun. The US team will be led by Siddharth Mohandas, deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, and Richard Johnson, deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and countering weapons of mass destruction policy.
“With a focus on North Korea’s nuclear threats, both sides will have in-depth discussions on various measures to strengthen U.S. extended deterrence, including information sharing and consultation procedures,” the ministry said in a statement.