Independent Online

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

North Korea accuses US of risking nuclear war

North Korea has accused the US of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic US bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in another show of strength. File picture: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

North Korea has accused the US of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic US bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in another show of strength. File picture: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Published May 2, 2017

Share

Seoul - North Korea accused the United

States on Tuesday of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink

Story continues below Advertisement

of nuclear war after a pair of strategic US bombers flew

training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in

another show of strength.

Story continues below Advertisement

The two supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers were deployed amid

rising tensions over North Korea's dogged pursuit of its nuclear

and missile programmes in defiance of United Nations sanctions

Story continues below Advertisement

and pressure from the United States.

The flight of the two bombers on Monday came as US President Donald Trump said he was open to meeting North Korean

leader Kim Jong Un in the appropriate circumstances, even though

Story continues below Advertisement

Pyongyang suggested it would continue with its nuclear tests.

South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun told

a briefing in Seoul that Monday's joint drill was conducted to

deter provocations by the North and to test readiness against

another potential nuclear test.

The US air force said in a statement the bombers had flown

from Guam to conduct training exercises with the South Korean

and Japanese air forces.

North Korea said the bombers conducted "a nuclear bomb

dropping drill against major objects" in its territory at a time

when Trump and "other US warmongers are crying out for making

a preemptive nuclear strike" on the North.

"The reckless military provocation is pushing the situation

on the Korean peninsula closer to the brink of nuclear war," the

North's official KCNA news agency said on Tuesday.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high for weeks,

driven by concerns that the North might conduct its sixth

nuclear test in defiance of pressure from the United States and

Pyongyang's sole major ally, China.

China's Global Times, a state-backed tabloid that does not

necessarily reflect national policy, said in an editorial late

on Monday the United States should not rely on China alone to

pressure Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear ambitions.

April could prove a "turning point", the paper said, but

"Washington ... must also continue to exert its own efforts on

the issue".

It was widely feared North Korea could conduct its sixth

nuclear test on or around April 15 to celebrate the anniversary

of the birth of the North's founding leader, Kim Il Sung, or on

April 25 to coincide with the 85th anniversary of the foundation

of its Korean People's Army.

The North has conducted such tests or missile launches to

mark significant events in the past.

Instead, North Korea conducted an annual military parade,

featuring a display of missiles, on April 15 and then a large,

live-fire artillery drill 10 days later.

South Korea's acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn called for

stronger vigilance because of continuing provocation by Seoul's

poor and isolated neighbour.

"I am asking foreign and security ministries to further

strengthen military readiness in order for North Korea not to

miscalculate ... and drive the Korea-US alliance and

cooperation from neighbouring countries such as China to put

pressure on the North," Hwang told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Trump said on Monday he would be "honoured" to meet the

North's young leader.

"If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would

absolutely, I would be honoured to do it," Trump told Bloomberg

News in comments that drew criticism in Washington.

Trump did not say what conditions would be needed for such a

meeting to occur or when it could happen. The White House said

later North Korea would need to meet many conditions before it

could be contemplated.

"Clearly conditions are not there right now," White House

spokesman Sean Spicer said.

"I don’t see this happening anytime soon."

Trump warned in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that a

"major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, while

China said last week the situation on the Korean peninsula could

escalate or slip out of control.

In a show of force, the United States has already sent an

aircraft carrier strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, to

waters off the Korean peninsula to conduct drills with South

Korea and Japan.

The US military's THAAD anti-missile defence system has

reached initial operational capacity in South Korea, U.S.

officials told Reuters, although they cautioned that it would

not be fully operational for some months.

North Korea test-launched a missile on Saturday that

appeared to have failed within minutes, its fourth successive

failed launch since March. It has conducted two nuclear tests

and a series of missile-related activities at an unprecedented

pace since the beginning of last year.

The North is technically still at war with the South after

their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, and

regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and

South Korea. 

Reuters

Related Topics:

Share