North Korea warns of a “tough” reaction to US military actions

Seoul.- North Korea said this Thursday that it will react in the “hardest” way to any military action by USAhours after seoul and Washington joint air maneuvers and after the visit of the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.

“We will take the toughest reaction to any US military attempt on the principle of nuclear weapon for nuclear weapon and all-out confrontation for all-out confrontation,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA on Thursday.

In the text, the North Korean Foreign Ministry stated that “these movements are not being ignored” and that “the military and political situation on the peninsula and the region has reached an extreme red line due to the maneuvers and acts hostiles of the United States and its vassal forces”.

Pyongyang’s response comes after Seoul and Washington staged combined air exercises on Wednesday involving a US Air Force B-1B strategic bomber and F-22 and F-35B stealth fighters, the ministry confirmed today. of South Korean Defense.

These exercises, which represent the first joint exercises between Seoul and Washington in 2023, took place over the Yellow Sea (called the West Sea in the two Koreas), in order to “promote the combined operational capabilities” of both countries, and also involved to F-35A type fighter jets from the South.

The US sent B-1 strategic bombers to the Korean peninsula last November for the first time since 2017, assets that were common in its air exercises that year, when tension between Pyongyang and Washington reached dangerous levels.

That year marked a turning point with the rapprochement between the North Korean regime and the administration of then-US President Donald Trump, and the United States stopped deploying such aircraft in the region until late last year, when tensions intensified again.

The exercises took place a day after the end of a visit by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Seoul, where he pledged to strengthen the extended deterrence commitment against the North Korean threat through “close communications, deployment of strategic assets and trilateral cooperation with Japan”.

“During his visit to South Korea, the South Korean Defense Secretary openly stated that they will deploy more strategic assets, which is a dangerous scenario that will result in turning the peninsula into a critical arsenal and war zone,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said.

Pyongyang also added that it has no interest in holding dialogue with the US as long as Washington “maintains a hostile policy towards the North.”

The North’s reaction comes after a year 2022 in which Pyongyang carried out a record number of missile tests, around fifty, and in which tension on the Korean peninsula has reached new highs.

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