North Korea on Sunday slammed the upcoming joint US-South Korea military exercise as an act of “adding fuel to the fire” on the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“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,” said an editorial in the Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the Korean People’s Party.
“If the US is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else’s door far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever.”
The Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise will begin on Monday and will conclude on August 31. North Korea has long denounced the drills as a war rehearsal for a northern invasion, reports Yonhap News Agency.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps with military officers at the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in an unknown location in North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 15, 2017. Reuters
Pyongyang also declared that its Army can target the US any time and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can “dodge the merciless strike”.
“The Trump group’s declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against North Korea … is a reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war,” the daily said.
It described North Korea as the “strongest possessor” of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the US mainland from anywhere, CNN reported.
“The Korean People’s Army is keeping a high alert, fully ready to contain the enemies. It will take resolute steps the moment even a slight sign of the preventive war is spotted,” the editorial added.
Pyongyang conducted two tests of its long-range missile in July and had threatened to fire four ballistic missiles toward Guam. It backed off from the threat on Tuesday.