Threatens nuclear war
North Korea has warned the US it will be ‘pouring gasoline on fire’ if they carry out drills with its long term foe South Korea.
The annual military drills between the US and South Korean have begun despite appeals for the exercise to be halted, with Pyongyang condemning them as a “reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”
The drills between Seoul and Washington are largely computer simulated and designed to refine responses to any situation presented from conventional weapons to a nuclear war.
The annual drill has been held between the two countries since the 1970s and about 17,500 US troops and 50,000 South Korean troops will participate in the exercises, which will last for about 10 days.
The numbers of US troops involved in this years drill are a reduction from last year and US defence secretary James Mattis said the reductions were “by design to achieve the exercise objectives”.
He added: “This right now is an exercise to make certain that we’re ready to defend South Korea and our allies over there.”
Sky news report that state media in the North said: “The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won’t evolve into actual fighting.”
It warned the exercises would “be like pouring gasoline on fire and worsen the state of the peninsula” and added: “If the United States is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else’s doorstep far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever.”
Despite North Korea appearing to back down from a threat to send missiles towards the US Pacific island of Guam last week tensions are still high, especially since the go ahead of the drills with the state saying they would watch the US’s actions.