Pyongyang rails against US-South Korea war games

Saul Bowman
August 22, 2017

The messages come after Pyongyang just last week said it had finalized plans to fire four missiles toward the USA territory of Guam, though North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un ultimately made a decision to hold off to "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees", - a statement seen as backing down on the threat, possibly under pressure from China.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises that occur every summer are a massive military planning and coordination operation about how to respond to computer-simulated North Korean attack scenarios.

The Pentagon said the joint exercise would involve about 17,500 U.S. service members, as well as troops from Australia, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Britain. The media in the Communist state yesterday described the teachings as "reckless" action, which could lead to a nuclear war. During last year's drills, North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine and put its military on the highest alert. "North Korea should recognize that its continued provocations are leading to a repeated vicious cycle of South Korea-US joint defensive drills".

Earlier this month, President Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury".

"No one can guarantee that this will not escalate into a real war", it said, calling the annual drills a "rehearsal for nuclear war" and the "most naked expression of hostility" toward the North.

Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that a confidential United Nations report found North Korea evaded United Nations sanctions by "deliberately using indirect channels" and had generated $270 million in banned exports since February.

Tens of thousands of troops from the U.S., South Korea and several other countries will conduct drills over the next few weeks to prepare for a possible war with Kim Jong Un's regime.

After North Korea's threats against Guam and an nearly unprecedented war of words over Pyongyang's repeated missile tests, analysts have warned that the joint drills may be seen as a provocation at a particularly sensitive time. However, the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive.

North Korea claims it has successfully miniaturized a nuclear weapon. Kim's regime only wants the cancel military drills that prepare for removing him from power and detonating nuclear weapons, Joel Wit, a former state department official, wrote in the Atlantic magazine on August 13.

China and Russian Federation have also called for the suspension of the joint military drills along with a freeze on North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

Read: What is China's role in the North Korean crisis?

North Korea's official news agency has condemned Australia's involvement in an editorial.

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