N Korea threatens to ‘invade US’ unless S Korean military exercises aren’t halted
A U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules aircraft leads a formation of F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters and A/V-8B Harrier jets over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) in the East Sea of Korea © Charles Oki / U.S. Navy photo / Handout / Reuters
North Korea has issued new nuclear threats to the US saying it will respond accordingly if Washington does not cancel military exercises with South Korea. Pyongyang says it is ready to use its latest weapons, which are “unknown to the world.”
The drills are due to take place Monday and have become an annual event for the US, South Korea and other allies, a fact that has often irked North Korea. The exercises, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, are aimed to “protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula,” a statement from the Korea-US Combined Forces Command stated, as cited by CNN.
As has been the case in the past, Pyongyang has shown its displeasure, but the rhetoric coming out of the secretive nation has been stronger than in previous years.
“The army and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are no longer what they used to be in the past when they had to counter the US nukes with rifles,” a spokesman for North Korea’s National Defense Commission (NDC) said.
The spokesman added that “North Korea… is the invincible power equipped with both [the] latest offensive and defensive means unknown to the world.”
“The further Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises are intensified, the strongest military counteraction the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will take to cope with them,” he added.
State television in North Korea has been trying to present a message to the people that the country’s military is in a better position now to counter the perceived threat that is posed by the US and its allies. Media reports from Pyongyang even claimed that North Korea was ready to attack Washington on US soil.
“If [the] United States wants their mainland to be safe,” said a newswoman for the state TV station, KCNA, “then the Ulchi Freedom Guardian should stop immediately.”
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