North Korea has declared the intention to keep developing its nuclear deterrent in response to South Korean-U.S. military exercises.
The joint military exercises, which included Apache attack helicopters, jet fighters and 2,000 troops, were designed to correspond with today’s 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, intending to demonstrate U.S. and South Korean military readiness to oppose any future North Korean aggression.
In a statement released Sunday via Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the drill and expressed the North Korean intention to keep building its military for “as long as the U.S., the world’s biggest nuclear weapons state, persists with its hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea).”
|▲ The North Korean flag being used during U.S.-South Korea military exercises (ⓒ Yonhap)|
The use of an oversized North Korean flag during the exercise was seized upon by Pyongyang as a particularly noteworthy provocation.
“The U.S. imperialists' reckless firing at the DPRK flag, symbolic of its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation, is the most vivid expression of their hostile policy toward the DPRK,” it declared in the piece, calling it “an extremely grave military action and politically-motivated provocation to fire live bullets and shells at the flag of a sovereign state without a declaration of war.”
“Lurking behind the U.S. hostile policy is its aggressive ambition to stifle the DPRK and swallow up the whole of the Korean Peninsula. This indicates that this ambition remains unchanged after lapse of 62 years since the U.S. ignited the Korean War,” it went on.