DAccording to North Korea, the joint military exercises by the USA and South Korea are increasing tensions on the peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. The “ruthless military confrontation hysteria of the US and its supporters” is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula “to an irreversible catastrophe, to the brink of nuclear war,” the state news agency KCNA quoted Choe Ju-hyon as saying on Thursday, whom it describes as an international security analyst.
In March, US and South Korean forces began their annual military drills, including air and sea maneuvers with a US aircraft carrier, and the first large-scale amphibious landing drills in five years.
US sends long-range bombers to Korean Peninsula
Thursday’s KCNA report called the carrier’s participation fueling the confrontation and said the Pyongyang government will respond to the exercises by exercising its war deterrence with “offensive measures.” “The exercises have turned the Korean peninsula into a giant powder keg ready to explode at any moment,” it said. North Korea has long been angered by what it considers military exercises to be exercises for an invasion.
The United States sent a B-52H long-range bomber to the Korean Peninsula for joint air force exercises, South Korea’s defense ministry said on Wednesday. The bomber can also be equipped with nuclear bombs.
The deployment of strategic weapons systems in the region underscores US efforts to “improve the credibility of enhanced deterrence,” it said. The US sent a B-52 bomber earlier on March 6th. By extended deterrence, the US means the “full range” of its military capabilities in defense of South Korea, including nuclear weapons.
The latest air force exercise by both countries took place over the Yellow Sea between the Korean Peninsula and China, according to South Korean media reports. A South Korean air force commander was quoted as saying the drills demonstrated a readiness to respond quickly to any North Korean provocation.
The conflict with North Korea has become significantly more explosive since last year. Despite being banned by UN resolutions, North Korea increased the scope of its tests with ballistic missiles, which, depending on the design, can also be equipped with a nuclear warhead.