Nuclear deterrent threat of war by North Korea
There are increasing tensions in Korea as planned military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. this weekend have provoked threats from North Korea to use its nuclear deterrent. There has been escalating friction since a South Korean navy vessel was sunk in March resulting in the deaths of 46 sailors, which South Korea and the U.S. blamed on Pyongyang. (see here).
Now the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), says that Pyongyang is ready to begin a “retaliatory sacred war,” according to BBC News. A threat was issued today by the North Korea National Defence Commission (NDC), which leader Kim Jong-il heads, saying it has received further “unpardonable” provocation after being blamed again for the incident.
The statement read, “The army and people of the [North] will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises,” according to David Batty and Justin McCurry on guardian.co.uk. It’s nothing new when military exercises are held by the U.S and South Korea, for Pyongyang to issue warnings of retaliation, but the latest threat of using a nuclear deterrent is worrying.
The military exercises involving the U.S. and South Korea are called Operation Invincible Spirit and will involve 8,000 troops. Yesterday a North Korea spokesman Ri Tong-il also threatened a “physical response” to the drills. Meanwhile Hilary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State said that North Korea must cease its “campaign of provocative, dangerous behaviour,” in order to improve relationships and yesterday urged Asian countries to enforce UN sanctions. What do you think about these latest developments in Korea? We’d be interested to hear your comments.
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